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St. Ursula's Day
BVI

St. Ursula’s Day 2020, 2021 and 2022 in British Virgin Islands

Every 21 October in the British Virgin Islands is a public holiday known as Saint Ursula’s Day. The day celebrates the discovery and naming of the Virgin Islands by Christopher Columbus. He called them “Saint Ursula and Her 11,000 Virgins.”

YearDateDayHoliday
202023 OctFriSt Ursula's Day
202121 OctThuSt Ursula's Day
202221 OctFriSt Ursula's Day
202320 OctFriSt Ursula's Day Holiday
21 OctSatSt Ursula's Day
202421 OctMonSt Ursula's Day
Please scroll down to end of page for previous years' dates.

It is easy to see why the name was shortened, but only the long form reveals the national connection to the name of Saint Ursula. Additionally, the British Virgin Islands’ territorial crest contains representations of Saint Ursula and the lamps held by her numerous virgins.

The legend of Saint Ursula involves the daughter of the king of Cornwall, in modern Britain. She took a vow to remain a virgin forever, but a marriage was nevertheless arranged for her with Conan Meriadoc, a pagan prince of Brittany.

Ursula brought 11,000 handmaid virgins with her on the way to Brittany, but they never got there. A storm threw them “off course” to a city in Gaul. From there, Ursula and her virgins went on a long pilgrimage to Rome and other places. On the way back, the Hun intercepted the group and demanded Ursula wed a Hunnish prince. She refused, and all of them were mercilessly beheaded. Saint Cordula, one of the 11,000, managed to live long enough to write down the story.

In British Virgin Islands, Saint Ursula’s Day is an off-work day. There are religious events all over the islands, and there is also a popular boat race.

Previous Years

YearDateDayHoliday
201921 OctMonSt Ursula's Day
201821 OctSunSt Ursula's Day
22 OctMonSt Ursula's Day Holiday
201720 OctFriSt Ursula's Day Holiday
21 OctSatSt Ursula's Day