Pohnpei Constitution Day: November 8
Pohnpei Constitution Day is a public holiday in Micronesia.
Pohnpei Constitution Day is a holiday that is celebrated in Micronesia as a day of remembrance, pride, joy, and strength for the Federated States of Micronesia.
History of Pohnpei Constitution Day in Micronesia
Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, comprising of hundreds of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It is distinct from Melanesia to the south, and Polynesia to the east. The Philippines and Indonesia lie to the west. Micronesia comprises of approximately 650 islands, which gives this region a tropical existence. Even though this region comprises of many small islands, the region is called the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) because the islands are divided into what is known as the four states of Micronesia-Yap, Chuuk, Kosrae, and Pohnpei.
The Federated States of Micronesia became a US-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) in 1947. This followed successive colonization by the Portuguese, Spanish, and Germans, and also included Japanese rule between the two World Wars, under a mandate from the League of Nations (forerunners to the United Nations). In November 1986, the Federated States signed a Compact of Free Association with the USA, allowing for near-independence with US defense support. This marked an important time in history and has been celebrated as a national holiday.
The locally drafted constitution occurred in 1979 and provided separate legislature for each of the four states of FSM. Kosrae, Yap, Chuuk, and Pohnpei technically had their own constitution, a reason to take pride in this day as separate states. Each state elects one senator for a four-year term; these four are known as the ‘senators-at-large’. The other 10 senators are elected for two years and their representation is allocated according to the population of each state. The president and vice-president are elected by the congress senators-at-large.
Micronesia’s Pohnpei Constitution Day Traditions, Customs, and Activities
Pohnpei’s Constitution Day is celebrated on November 8 of each year. The people residing in Pohnpei celebrate this day as a public holiday, with banks, schools, post offices, and other public facilities closing in observance. This day is remembered and reflected upon with pride and strength for Pohnpei and the FSM as a whole.