Palau will celebrate its 28th Independence Day a day earlier, on September 30, according to Presidential Directive No, 22-52.

Palau’s Independence Day, an official holiday established on October 1st, celebrates the “historic reclamation of Palauan sovereignty,” states the Directive, with the theme this year of “Ensuring Safety and Security. 

The annual holiday has been celebrated every October 1st since 1994, and changing the date to September 30 has spurred questions and objections.

At the recent Senate session on September 22, Senator TJ Imrur Remengesau voiced objection to the change of date, saying it contradicts the significance and the importance of October 1st, Independence Day. 

“October 1st is when we achieved our Independence.  We cannot destroy the significance of October 1st,” lamented Senator TJ Remengesau, seeking clarification as to why the October 1st Independence Day is moved to September 30.  September 30th falls on a Friday, while October 1st falls on Saturday.

A press release from the Ministry of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism and Development (HRCTD) outlines the schedule of activities for the September 30th celebration of October 1st Independence Day.

Minister Ngirai Tmetuchl of HRCTD said that idea of moving the celebration to Friday was to give people a longer 3-day weekend and has nothing to do with SDA or religion.

The celebration activities will take place at the Koror Side of KB Bridge on Friday.  Activities include brief opening statements, state booths, and the annual boat races.  Fireworks will be in the evening, courtesy of the Republic of China – Taiwan.

The 28th Independence Day will be the first Independence celebrated with both the President and the Vice President out of the country.   (By: L.N. Reklai)

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