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Commonwealth Covenant Day 2023: Date, History, Facts, Activities

The islands have a long and illustrious heritage of multiple colonizations. It first became a Spanish colony in the 1500s, and Spain's power and control endured for centuries, profoundly influencing the culture, language, and economy of the region.

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Every year, Commonwealth Covenant Day is observed on March 24. This day commemorates the beginning of the union between the United States and the Northern Mariana Islands as a commonwealth. (N.M.I.). This day is a public holiday, so all commercial establishments, banks, schools, and government offices are closed. School administrators and educators hold a roadside flag-waving event to commemorate the country’s political union with NMI on a day when most citizens are resting. Learn how you can participate in today’s Commonwealth Covenant Day celebrations.

The background of Commonwealth Covenant Day

The islands have a long and illustrious heritage of multiple colonizations. It first became a Spanish colony in the 1500s, and Spain’s power and control endured for centuries, profoundly influencing the culture, language, and economy of the region. The German Empire took control of the islands in 1899, but this only endured until the outbreak of World War I. Following Germany’s defeat in the conflict against Japan in 1919, the League of Nations granted the Japanese empire control of the Northern Mariana Islands (N.M.I.)

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Japan’s defeat in World War II marked the beginning of the island’s political relations with the United States. As part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the United States assisted in the administration of NMI Security Council Resolution 21. The United States was tasked with defending the island.

Briefly, there was a movement to incorporate Guam into the Northern Mariana Islands. This endeavor took place in 1958, 1961, and 1963. Guam, however, resisted and chose to remain a part of U.S. territory, formally rejecting integration under the 1969 memorandum. At that time, the island had to determine whether it would become an independent nation free from external control or join the United States. By 1975, the majority of the population of the Northern Mariana Islands voted for a commonwealth agreement with the United States rather than independence. The memorandum went into effect on March 24, 1976, and a new government and constitution were established on January 9, 1978, in accordance with the memorandum of 1977.

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Participate in roadside waiving

Participating in the roadside flag-waving festivities is one of the newest methods to observe Commonwealth Covenant Day. This was done for the first time on March 24, 2022, with the intention of making it an annual event. Therefore, seize the national flag and experience a sense of community.

Celebrate with culinary festivities

Because of its long history, there is no doubt that the culinary culture of the U.S. Virgin Islands has been a melting pot of international cuisine. Grab your cookbook and prepare your family’s favorite Papuan, Hawaiian, and Spanish-inspired dishes.

The film The Insular Empire.

The documentary “The Insular Empire: America in the Marianas” explores the complex history of the Northern Mariana Islands and how it shaped the nation as it is today. It is an excellent film for teaching children about their cultural and historical identity.

5 fascinating facts about the N.M.I.

First colonizers in the Northern Mariana Islands were referred to as Chamorros, who are indigenous people from southeast Asia.

The southern islands of the Northern Mariana Islands consist solely of limestone and coral reefs.

The archipelago experiences both wet and arid seasons throughout the entire year.

In the Northern Mariana Islands, the average life expectancy is 77 years.

The population of the archipelago is only 55,000.


Year Date Day
2023 March 24 Friday
2024 March 24 Sunday
2025 March 24 Monday
2026 March 24 Tuesday
2027 March 24 Wednesday
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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