Barbados National Holidays
Barbados Public Holidays
Each year, Barbados has a dozen (12) national public holidays.
These holidays are commonly referred to locally in Barbados as ‘bank holidays’.
Depending on the holiday, there are generally events scheduled to celebrate the day, a person or pay respect to an historical event.
On these days, banks and businesses are normally closed and the majority of the labour force is granted time off work or given extra pay for working, depending on their employment agreement.
Barbadians often celebrate these holidays with a family picnic or trip to one of the many beautiful beaches or parks that the island has to offer.
Note: If a bank holiday falls on a Sunday it is carried over to the Monday, however if the bank holiday falls on a Saturday, there is no holiday given lieu.
National Holidays 2016
— Friday January 1st, 2016 – New Year’s Day
— Thursday January 21st, 2016 – Errol Barrow Day
— Friday March 25th, 2016 – Good Friday
— Sunday March 27th, 2016 – Easter Sunday
— Monday March 28th, 2016 – Easter Monday
— Thursday April 28th, 2016 – National Heroes Day
— Sunday May 1st, 2016 – Labor Day/May Day
— Monday May 2nd, 2016 – Public Holiday
— Sunday May 15th, 2016 – Whit Sunday
— Monday May 16th, 2016 – Whit Monday
— Monday August 1st, 2016 – Emancipation Day
— Monday August 1st, 2016 – Kadooment Day
— Tuesday August 2nd, 2016 – Public Holiday
— Wednesday November 30th, 2016 – Independence Day
— Sunday December 25th, 2016 – Christmas Day
— Monday December 26th, 2016 – Boxing Day
— Tuesday December 27th, 2016 – Public Holiday
Want to know more about Public Holidays in Barbados?
Errol Barrow Day
Errol Barrow is known in Barbados as the Father of Independence and Social Transformation. He helped to form the Democratic Labor Party, which brought Barbados to Independence in 1966.
He is most notably remembered as the first Prime Minister of Barbados and the national holiday falls on his birthday to honour his legacy.
National Heroes Day
Nine men and one woman make up the ten official national heroes of Barbados.
National Heroes Day celebrates these official national heroes that have played a major part in Barbados’ history and development. Schools will often take part in the preparation of these celebrations.
Labor Day / May Day
Also linked with International Workers’ Day, this holiday celebrates the achievements of the worker.
Also known as Pentecost Monday, this holiday is celebrated the day after the religious Christian feast of Pentecost.
This bank holiday is celebrated in recognition of the abolition of slavery through the Slavery Abolition Act 1833.
To celebrate, a march is held through the streets of Barbados towards the statue on the ABC Highway erected in honor of a man called Bussa.
Note: Recognized as a national hero of Barbados, Bussa is known as the leader of Barbados’ longest slave revolt in 1816, what is now called the Bussa Rebellion. This revolt was aimed at gaining freedom for the slaves of Barbados; hence the strong ties to emancipation and Emancipation Day.
Grand Kadooment Day is considered the grand finale of the Crop Over Festival where Barbadians celebrate the end of the sugar cane harvest.
The revelers are divided into groups called ‘bands’ that each depict different themes; all with vibrant, colorful costumes and music.
The bands start at the National stadium where they are judged and then the jump-up of much merriment and dancing continues through the streets to calypso music, ending on Spring Garden Highway.
Locals and visitors alike flock to join in this national celebration.
Barbadians celebrate their Independence Day with much pride and prestige.
November 30th 1966 marks the island’s peacefully negotiated break from England and British rule. In fact, the break was so peaceful that the island is still referred to as ‘Little England’.
— Learn more about Barbados history at Totally Barbados
The Christmas Season is also celebrated with many festive activities and fun events, so don’t forget to check out the Barbados Events Calendar to see what’s happening on the island during this time so you can join in the celebrations, action and fun.
You can also download Barbados mobile apps for your tablet or smartphones.
» Google Play
By: Brett Callaghan