Every second Monday of October is observed as “National Heroes Day” in the Bahamas to remember and celebrate all of the heroes from all walks of life who have helped make Bahamas free and prosperous throughout its history.
|2019||7 Oct||Mon||National Heroes Day|
|2020||12 Oct||Mon||National Heroes Day|
Originally, Discovery Day or Columbus Day was celebrated in the Bahamas this time of year. But controversy over the meaning of Columbus’ discovery led to the replacement of that holiday with National Heroes Day in 2013.
It was on 12 October, 1492, that Columbus discovered the Bahamas, and the second Monday date was meant to approximate the date of discovery and to ensure a long weekend off work. Bahamian workers are given time off with pay on National Heroes Day.
The Bahamas has an official list of national heroes who are honoured every National Heroes Day. And this list is quite diverse, including heroes from the military, political, religious, educational, sports, and entertainment realms. But even “unofficial” heroes may be remembered on this day.
A special ceremony is held every National Heroes Day in the Bahamas, during which the sitting prime minister gives a major speech. There are also numerous festive events that last a full week, and many families get together for a party or get out to the beach for a swim and a picnic.