FIJIANS here and around the world took time yesterday to celebrate Fiji Day in their own way.
Some put down a lovo, some turned out to witness the parades and flag-raising ceremonies at town centres around the country and some slept in, having had one too many in anticipation of the public holiday.
But for femLINK Pacific and the Pacific Council of Churches, yesterday was a time for reflection and prayer on the country's 43-year journey since independence at a Peace Vigil in Suva's Holy Trinity Cathedral.
"This is the weekly peace vigil that femLINK Pacific convenes weekly at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, it's a continuation of the Blue Ribbon peace vigil which women initiated in 2000 here and it so happens that this year it coincides with Fiji Day," femLINK Pacific co-ordinator Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls explained.
She explained Fiji Day held special significance as it allowed them a chance to reflect on how women's rights had progressed since independence
"Also the linkages with the church as faith leaders and how far have we really progressed with women's rights, marginalised women, young and old and women with disabilities. This is really an important time."
Fiji Council of Churches interim general secretary Reverend James Bhagwan said for them, Fiji Day and the vigil provided a chance for prayer.
"I think a lot of the communities in Fiji are encouraging their members not only to celebrate today but also to take time to reflect and pray for the nation," Mr Bhagwan said.
"It's important that we recognise that part and parcel of independence was a blessing by the faith communities of this country or the prayers of the faith communities for this country for Fiji."