The 8th June each year represents a very special celebration in the hearts of all Norfolk Islanders. Originally called ‘Anniversary Day’, now known as Bounty Day. The festivities take place on Norfolk Island in remembrance of when their Ancestors first arrived from Pitcairn Island in 1856.
Overcrowding on their tiny island, forced the Pitcairn Islanders to take action which resulted in Queen Victoria generously offering Norfolk Island as their new home. The entire population of 194, departed on the 3rd May and landed, settling on Norfolk Island on the 8th June 1856.
Each year, a small re-enactment of the landing starts Bounty Day celebrations! Kingston Pier comes alive with a huge crowd of locals all wearing traditional outfits including their locally made ‘Bounty Hats’. The making of these hats has been handed down through generations since 1856 and was an inherited technique from the Pitcairn Islanders Polynesian foremothers.
A small boat is launched off the pier and after a short row, passengers are welcomed to the island by locals role-playing Mr and Mrs Stewart who were the original caretakers of Norfolk Island when the Pitcairn people arrived. A mass of locals commence their march through Kingston arriving at the Cenotaph stopping to pay their respects to the fallen soldiers. Family matriarchs lay wreaths and everyone joins in the singing of ‘God Save the Queen’ which has remained the national anthem of Norfolk Island.
The local procession then moves along to the island’s cemetery where respects are paid to family members who have been laid to rest. It is a breathtaking experience listening to the local hymns being carolled amongst the locals.
For the Norfolk Islanders it’s now morning tea time and the judging of the best dressed family takes place. A highly prestigious award according to the locals!
The Norfolk Island community welcomes visitors to join in the celebrations of Bounty Day and walk alongside the procession followed by a delicious picnic lunch with new found friends. The day is filled with family, food, music and dance!
If the history buff in you has been ignited, check out our Bounty Day Norfolk Island package here. It is a popular event and we do recommend booking sooner rather than later if you don’t want to miss all the fun! Just give our team a call on 1800 800 722 if you have any queries or would like some more information.comments powered by Disqus