Culture Cayman Islands

  • Cayman Islands
    © iStockphoto.com / Jodi Jacobson
Margot Millier
Margot Millier Expert destination Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands : Discover the country's culture

Guides

"Diving and snorkeling guide to the Cayman Islands", Lonely Planet, édition 2001.

Cayman Islands : Discover the country's history

Historical dates

In 1503, Christopher Columbus discovers the archipelago.
It is from then on that pirates start to land on their coasts. And this until the 18th century.
In 1586, when Francis Drake arrives in Grand Cayman, the three islands are already called Caymanas, due to the presence of crocodiles in the mangroves of inland lakes.
It is only in 1660 that settlers decide to move to the islands. The pioneers are said to have been two deserting soldiers of the British Army, who were came from Jamaica.
In 1670, the islands are under the supervision of the British Crown which puts them under Jamaica's administrative control.
In the 1800's, the population does not exceed
1,000 inhabitants, with a high proportion of slaves.
In 1835, when slavery is abolished, many of them decide to stay on the archipelago. The population starts to increase.
In 1962, when Jamaica becomes independent from the United Kingdom, the Cayman Islands decide to stay under the British Crown's supervision. Nevertheless, the colony still has its own government.
In the 70's, the island sets up laws of tax exemption, which makes the island very attractive for banks. Today, there are more than 600 registered banks on the islands. During that same time, the Cayman Islands start to see their tourist sector increase. It now represents 70% of the archipelago's GNP.

Cayman Islands : Stay up to date on the country's holidays and events

Events

As the Cayman Islands are under British supervision, they have inherited all celebrations of the monarchy.
January 1:
New Year's Day (holiday).
January 22 2007 :
National Heroes Day
$$February 21, 2007:$$
Ash Wednesday (holiday).
$$April 6, 2007:$$
Good Friday (holiday).
$$April 9, 2007:$$
Easter Monday (holiday).
April/May:
Batabono Carnival.
In April:
KayFest (cultural festival)
May 21, 2007:
Discovery Day to celebrate the discovery of the archipelago (holiday).
June 11, 2007:
Queen Elisabeth's Birthday (holiday).
In June :
Fishing contest.
July 2, 2007:
Constitution Day.
In August:
Sand castle contest (Seven Mile Public Beach).
In October:
Pirates'Week, a yearly festival where parades and dances take place lasts 10 days with a fake landing of pirates, in memory of their presence in the 18th century.
12.11.07:
Remembrance Day (holiday).
December 25:
Christmas.
December 26:
Boxing Day.

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