Although the Falkland Islands’ public holidays and religious events don’t differ greatly from those celebrated back in the UK, the archipelago does host a number of enjoyable and unique festivals. Camp Sports Week is a great time to savor traditional life on the islands, while both Liberation Day and Falkland Day prove how much pride the people of this territory have.
New Year’s Eve
One of the calendar’s most exciting evenings sees people spilling out of bars and house parties around Stanley and Camp as they celebrate the past twelve months and welcome in a new year. Stanley’s locals are out in full force and firework displays are often held in the camp areas.
Camp Sports Week
Traditionally celebrated at the end of the sheep shearing season, Camp Sports Week in February is a time when the local Falkland Island families get together, relax and host barbecues for a few days. Numerous events, such as horse racing and dog trials are held annually and it’s a great way to experience rural life.
Standard Chartered Bank Stanley Marathon
For a more active event, head over to the Falkland Islands during March and sign up for the world’s most southerly marathon. The course offers some fantastic scenery to keep runners occupied along the way and while it’s known for being fairly challenging, it is not only a great workout, but a fantastic way to discover the Islands.
May Day/May Ball
For centuries, May Day, which falls on the first of the month, has been celebrated by the British emigrants on the Falkland Islands. While not quite as popular as it once was, the locally-orientated festival is centered around the symbolic Maypole and includes Morris dancing and the crowning of a May Queen as one of the highlights. The festival dates back to the pagan beliefs of the Anglo-Saxons.
A proud and symbolic day for Falkland Islanders, June 14 celebrates the end of the Argentine occupation of the archipelago. A memorial service is held at Christ Church Cathedral, followed by a military parade and ceremonial laying of the wreath at the Liberation Monument.
Although it is no longer a public or national holiday, Falkland Day, held on August 14, celebrates the first noted discovery of the islands by John Davis in 1592. It also celebrates the noisy return of the elephant seals and black-browed albatross to the islands to breed.
Similar to celebrations held in the US, Halloween is the perfect excuse to dress up and act like a child on the night of October 31. Plenty of the local establishments throw costume parties and a wide range of themed baked goods are available in all of the local bakeries.