Celebrations will be held in Vanuatu today to mark the 35th anniversary of the country's independence.
The country gained independence from the joint-colonial rule of Britain and France in 1980 after a decades-long independence struggle.
But casting a shadow over today's celebrations is the death this week of one of the country's political stalwarts, opposition leader and former prime minister Edward Natapei.
Mr Natapei was the long-time leader of the country's oldest political party, the Vanua'aku Pati, which was closely involved in ushering the country to independence.
Kastom festivities, flag raising and a speech by prime minister Sato Kilman are to feature in anniversary celebrations at Independence Park in Port Vila.
A state funeral will be held for Edward Natapei on Friday.