Constitution Day is celebrated on 4 August in the Cook Islands to remember the day in 1965 when the islands gained their independence and came under the authority of their current Constitution.
|2020||4 Aug||Tue||Constitution Day|
|2021||4 Aug||Wed||Constitution Day|
|2022||4 Aug||Thu||Constitution Day|
The Cook Islands had been a territory of the UK since 1888. The annexation did not occur by uninvited force, however, but came at the request of the islanders when they feared an imminent invasion by Britain’s colonial competitor, France. In 1901, the UK joined the islands with their colony of New Zealand.
Up until 1965, the Cook Islands remained a territory of New Zealand, but they officially gained independence that year on 4 August. The islands remained, however, in “free association with” New Zealand. This means that the Cook Islands can leave anytime they want to but are currently allowing New Zealand to handle their foreign affairs and national defence.
Constitution Day has become rather popular in the Cook Islands. It is called Te Maeva Nui, meaning that it is a very great celebration. This is the islands’ biggest patriotic holiday.