March 18 is Aruba National Day when One Happy Island celebrates its flag and national anthem. It’s one of the best times of the year to be on the island if what you want to experience is real Aruban culture, pride and heritage.
Setting the Stage for Aruba National Day
It was March 18 back in 1948 when Aruba’s leader, Shon A. Eman, presented a petition at a Netherlands conference with more than 2,000 signatures of Arubans expressing their desire for independence. It wasn’t until nearly 30 years later in 1976 that the Netherlands parliament approved March 18 as Aruba National Day and the island officially celebrated it for the first time. And it was still another ten years before Aruba achieved independence (Status Aparte) within the kingdom of the Netherlands in 1986 under the leadership of Betico Croes.
Celebrating the Flag on Aruba National Day
Aruba’s flag is a thing of beauty – simple and yet elegant in its design with the red star outlined in white on sea-blue background with two bright yellow horizontal stripes. The star has four points representing a compass that symbolizes how the island’s residents come from all directions and include more than 50 different nationalities, but also the islands four major languages (Papiamento, Spanish, English, and Dutch). The white outline around the red star symbolizes the white-sand beaches that encompass the island’s perimeter, the red is for the island’s red clay soil, and the blue background evokes the sparkling ocean waters. The yellow is a symbol for Aruba’s economic prosperity, which early on was found primarily through the island’s gold industry.
Arriving at this design was no small feat. It was in 1976 when a competition was held to design Aruba’s flag, and more than 700 designs were submitted. Aruba’s Flag Commission (Julio Maduro, Epi Wever, and Roland Donk) judged the designs. They knew they didn’t want any writing or anything too complex that would be difficult to perceive from a distance. They also wanted something that would be unique but also inexpensive to mass produce. As they reviewed the many designs, one guiding question used was whether or not schoolchildren would be able to easily draw it. No single designed submitted for the contest satisfied these guidelines, so the commission took the best elements from across all the submissions and came up with the final design, making it more representative of the whole island and not just one person.
The commission presented this design, along with four variations of it and the best three designs from the contest, to the Island Council. The council chose the first design created by the commission and the first flags were made in time for raising them on the first Aruba National Day on March 18, 1976. It is the only national flag in the world to feature a four-pointed star.
Aruba’s National Anthem
Aruba Dushi Tera is the national anthem that was prepared for the first Aruba National Day in 1976. It is a waltz composed by Rufo Wever with lyrics written by Juan Chabaya Lampe, although the final verse was written by Hubert (Lio) Boi. Here are the lyrics:
Aruba patria aprecia
Bo playanan tan admira
Grandeza di bo pueblo ta
Aruba appreciated native land
Your beaches so much admired
The greatness of our people
Aruba National Day Activities
There are literally too many events to list here. For a comprehensive view of everything available, visit Aruba.com’s National Anthem and Flag Day page. You’ll find all kinds of parties, cultural events featuring local cuisine, and many sporting events and games throughout the One Happy Island for both kids and adults. It is without doubt a day not to be missed!
Arriving in Style to Aruba National Day
Whether it’s for a special celebration such as Aruba National Day, a romantic getaway or a family vacation, you can always arrive in style to Aruba with First Class Experience Aruba VIP Airport Hosting Arrival Services, which includes the following:
- Greeted by VIP professional host at the end of the arrival bridge.
- Expedited procedures through immigration.
- Personalized attention in the airports VIP Club Lounge with complementary snacks and beverages.
- Your baggage is handled with care.
- Streamlined customs processing.
- Your baggage hand-delivered to you.
- Escort from airport to ground transportation.
Your departure from Aruba can be every bit as magical as your arrival with our VIP Airport Hosting Departure Service. Book now for your next trip to One Happy Island!