MY ANTIGUA FUN FACTS & NATIONAL SYMBOLS OF ANTIGUA



Antigua and Barbuda National Flag - The Dawn of a New Era

The red colour symbolises the lifeblood of slave forefathers and the dynamism of the people. The seven point Golden Sun symbolises the dawn of a new era.
The blue symbolises hope.
Black represents the soil and African heritage.
Gold, Blue and White are Antigua and Barbuda's tourist attractions - sun, sea and sand, and the  "V": is for victory at last!

Coat of Arms
Devised by R. Samuel in 1966

Our National Coat of Arms


National Weed

Our National Weed is the Widdy Widdy (Corchorus siliquosus L) which belongs to the Tiliaceae family. The bush was used by sugar workers to supplement their food supply when they went on strike for better wages and conditions in 1951. With a little cooking, the weed rapidly softens and becomes sticky. The flavour is good and the protein content is excellent.


National Bird - The Frigate

Our National Bird, (Fregata magnificens L) is also known as Man-o'-War or Weather bird. Relatives of the pelicans, the male is glossy black. To attract females, he blows up his scarlet throat. The females have white breasts. Frigates weigh about three pounds, have a wing span of 8 feet, a deeply forked tail and fly about 22 (mph).


National Flower

Our National Flower, the Dagger Log's (Agave karatto Miller) has yellow flowers rising from the large rosette formed by the Agave plant.
Years ago, fishing rafts were made from the flower's log (or stem) and fishing bait was made from the white interior pulp of the leaves.


National Tree

Our National tree is the Whitewood (Bucida buceras/font L), a wide-spreading ornamental shade tree with nearly horizontal branches, which  is part of the Combretun family and related to the mangroves and almond trees. Its timber is heavy and hard and was once used for making gun carriages. Because of its "black centre," the tree was once known as "Black Gregory."


National Dress

Our National Dress was worn by market vendors and cake makers in Antigua and Barbuda, circa 1834. (This version was designed by native Antiguan Heather Doram.) "National Day" is when many Antiguans proudly wear their national clothing, serve or eat local food and drinks, and attend national prayer services. (Photo by Timothy Payne).


National Sea Creature

Our National Sea Creature, the Hawksbill turtle, is distinguished by its narrow pointed beak and often jagged edge on both sides of the shell,  (Eretmochelys imbricata) was originally perceived as a gift from Caribs, Arawaks and archaic gods. Once actively hunted for its highly valued "tortoise shell," the Hawksbill is now on the endangered list.


National Animal

Our National Animal is thought to have been introduced to Antigua and Barbuda by the Codringtons in the early 1700s, the European Fallow (Dama dama dama) deer live and breed happily on Barbuda and Guiana island. They do not live on any other Eastern Caribbean island. There are two varieties, black and common.


National Fruit

Our National Originally introduced by the Arawakan speaking people, the Antiguan Black Pineapple (Ananas comosus) was used for making twine, cloth and for healing purposes. Today it is mainly grown on the south side of Antigua.


Our National Stone - Wood becomes petrified (fossilised) when buried for extended periods of time in mud containing volcanic ash. Antigua's petrified wood, belongs to the Oligocene period of geological time. Petrified wood fragments may still be found scattered throughout central Antigua.


National Food Our National Pepperpot was first used by the Amerindians as a means of preserving food. Today it is stew typically containing squash, spinach, eggplant, peas, pumpkin, ochroes, salted meats and dumplings. Fungee is a paste-like ball of cornmeal and ochroes.

Our National Historic Symbol is the first mill said to have been built at Claremont by the Piggotts from Ireland. By 1705, there were 34 mills in operation. More than 114 sugar mills still stand today as silent witness to a bygone era when sugar was "king."


National Music

Our National Members of the Rio Band play music typical of Antigua's past. The fife band usually consists of a fife (a small flute which plays the diatonic scale and is often made of bamboo), a grudge or grater, a boom pipe (as bass), a homemade Yuca-lili (ukulele) and a traditional guitar.


National Anthem
The music was written in 1966 by Mr. Walter Chambers, a church pipe organist and piano tuner. The lyrics are by Mr. Novelle Richards, a unionist, poet, journalist and author. At the time of full independence, the words were modified slightly to include Barbuda.

Fair Antigua and Barbuda!
We thy sons and daughters, stand
Strong and firm in peace or danger,
To safeguard our Native Land:
We commit ourselves to building
A true Nation, brave and free!
Ever striving, ever seeking
Dwell in love and unity.

 

Raise the Standard! Raise it boldly!
Answer now to duty's call:
To the service of your Country:
Sparing nothing, giving all!
Gird your loins and join the battle
'Gainst fear, hate and poverty:
Each endeavouring, all achieving,
Live in peace where man is free!


 

God of Nations, let Thy Blessing
Fall upon this Land of ours,
Rain and sunshine ever sending
Fill her fields with crops and flowers:
We, her Children, do implore Thee:
Give us strength, faith, loyalty:
Never failing, all enduring
To defend her liberty.

 

National Motto:  "EACH ENDEAVOURING, ALL ACHIEVING,"
by Mr. James H. Carrot, inspires Antiguans to work for their country's betterment.


Fun Facts
Despite having a small population, Antigua has produced some of the world’s best cricketers including Viv Richards, Richie Richardson, Andy Roberts and Curtly Ambrose. Many of them still live there - maybe attracted by the fact that Antigua collects no personal taxes

A sport for the very, very lazy, crab-racing is held once a week.

The words ‘hammock’, ‘hurricane’, ‘tobacco’, ‘barbecue’ and ‘canoe’ all derive from the Taino language, spoken by the people who originally lived in Jamaica?

Antigua and Barbuda are best visited during the cool and dry winter months (mid-December to mid-April), the peak tourist season. In January and February, the coolest months, the average daily high temperature is 81F (27C).

The islands get even hotter in the summer. In July and August, the warmest months, the average daily high is 86F (30C). It's less dry in the autumn (September to November), during the rainy season, though Antigua's fairly dry year-round.

Carnival, Antigua's big annual festival, is held from the end of July and culminates in a parade on the first Tuesday in August. Most Carnival activity takes place in St John's. Calypso music, steel bands, masqueraders, floats and street 'jump-ups' are all part of the celebrations. If you have enough energy by the last day to be up and dancing in the streets at 4am you can jump up during J'Overt, the climax of Carnival. The other major musical event is the annual Antiguan Jazz Festival, which takes place in October.
Budget meal: US$5-10
Moderate restaurant meal: US$10-20
Top-end restaurant meal: US$20 and upwards
Budget room: US$15-50
Moderate hotel: US$50-150
Top-end hotel: US$150 and upwards
Travelling in comfort on Antigua can easily mean spending several hundred US dollars a day. A moderate budget will hover around US$100. A minimal budget might be around US$30-50 a day, but this won't leave anything for shopping, transport and activities


ANTIGUA & BARBUDA  HOTEL GUIDE


Why not visit one of our other Holiday destinations
ANTIGUA   BARBADOS   CORFU   CYPRUS   FLORIDA   GOSPORT
GRENADA   ST KITTS   ST LUCIA   TOBAGO   KENYA