October 1 is Tuvalu Day. Tuvalu Day is Tuvalu’s independence day and it’s only truly national patriotic celebration each year.
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Tuvalu has been inhabited by Polynesians for several thousand years, but it was only in the 1800’s that its islands were discovered and colonised by the British Empire. For a long time, the UK called this Pacific Ocean archipelago the Ellice Islands, but upon independence, the inhabitants renamed them Tuvalu, meaning “eight islands”. The name came from the fact that there are eight inhabited islands in the country.
During the Second World War, Tuvalu was critical to the Allied cause because the islands provided invaluable air bases that helped to defeat the Japanese.
Independence didn’t come until 1 October 1978. And Tuvalu remains a part of the British Commonwealth to this day.
Both the first and second days in October are scene to independence celebrations in Tuvalu. The main events take place in the capital, Funafuti, where there is a parade and an official flag-hoisting ceremony. However, there are other ceremonies and special events held all over the country on Tuvalu Day. Feasting, dancing, and sports events go on for several consecutive days this time of year.