01 Aug, 2021
Emancipation Day is a Barbadian Public Holiday celebrated on the first of August. The holiday commemorates the abolition of slavery on the island and celebrates those who fought for that cause.
Barbados became an English colony in the mid-seventeenth century and quickly became an important producer of sugar cane. This meant that workers were needed, and many enslaved workers were brought from Africa to tend to the sugar plantations.
The slave trade was eradicated in 1807 however, slavery continued in Barbados for 30 more years until it was finally abolished. Over that 30 year span, the island had several minor revolts and a major slave uprising, which occurred on Sunday 14 April 1816. It was the largest, most substantial slave rebellion to occur on the island. The Revolt began on Bayley Plantation in St. Philip and moved across the island. By the time it was over 3 days later, 20,000 slaves from various plantations had been involved.
Emancipation day is also celebrated on August 1st in St Vincent & the grenadines, The Cayman Islands and Trinidad & Tobago.
Please note: On National holidays, most businesses are closed with the exception of restaurants and hotels. All schools, Government institutions, banks and supermarkets are closed.