Many travelers heading to Guam for a vacation will be on the island during a holiday. Whether you plan to visit Guam to take part in Guam holidays or Guam festivals, or simply happen to be there during an event Guam features, Guam holidays and Guam festivals are worth observing. From public Guam holidays that shut down the schools and banks for a day to full-fledged Guam festivals meant to involve many nights of celebration, a holiday event Guam offers is a lot of fun.
Perhaps the most popular holiday event Guam celebrates is Liberation Day on July 21st. Liberation Day in Guam commemorates the day in 1944 when United States forces recaptured the island of Guam from the Japanese during World War II. Japanese forces had invaded Guam in 1941 and took control of the island, a dark chapter in the history of Guam for many islanders.
Liberation Day is the culmination of a week of preceding festivals and carnivals celebrating this exciting day. Feasting happens all week long on Guam, as do many nights of fireworks throughout the 19 villages on the island. On the evening of the 21st, a major parade in the capital city Hagatna features floats and other entertainment. Travelers should note that since the Liberation Day festival is the largest on Guam, airline tickets to the island in the month of July will usually be higher than the rest of the year. Getting around the island on Liberation Day can also be quite a challenge, despite the relatively small size of the island. If you plan to travel to Guam during this festival be sure to plan ahead for crowds and busy traffic.
In addition to Liberation Day, the people of Guam also observe a number of other public holidays. Official festival season is from April to October, when the villages in the Southern part of the island hold their annual festivals. Tourists and guests along with all island residents are invited to each and every festival. Perhaps the most popular festival and a current event in Guam is the Malojloj Fiesta in the town of Inarajan. Each May, this festival takes place and lasts for three days, with plenty of food, music, dancing and more. Homemade Chamorro food and beer are the particular attraction to these incredible street parties, and any travelers fortunate enough to be in Guam during the festival season are in for a treat.
Guam also celebrates New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, US Independence Day, Labor Day, All Souls' Day, Thanksgiving, Immaculate Conception Day, and Christmas. These are all public holidays in Guam and most result in the closing of schools, banks, and other major offices and businesses. Travelers who might fly into Guam on one of these public holidays will want to check ahead to be sure rental car companies and other necessary facilities will be open.
Whether or not you travel to Guam specifically to enjoy the holidays of Guam, festivals and events on the island are truly unique. The special blend of influences from Spain, Japan, the US and of course the native Chamorro peoples make the holidays of Guam truly special.