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 events scheduled to celebrate the day, a person or pay respect to a historical fact.
On these days, banks and businesses are typically closed, and the majority of the labor 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.
Holidays in Barbados 2017
— Thursday – November 30th, 2017 – Independence Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Sunday – Christmas Eve – December 24th, 2017 – Observed
— Monday, December 25th, 2017 – Christmas Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Tuesday – December 26th, 2017 – Boxing Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Sunday – December 31st, 2017 – Old Years Night – Observed
Want to know more about Public Holidays in Barbados?
Errol Barrow Day Is the birthday of the former Prime Minister of Barbados who helped to form the Democratic Labor Party and which brought Barbados to Independence in 1966. Errol Barrow is known in Barbados as the Father of Independence and Social Transformation.
He is most notably remembered as the first Prime Minister of Barbados and the national holiday falls on his birthday to honor 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 significant 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 depicts 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 a 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.
Holidays in Barbados 2018
— Monday, January 1st, 2018 – New Year’s Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Sunday – January 21st, 2018 – Errol Barrow Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Monday – January 22nd, 2018 – Errol Barrow Day – Public Holiday – Observed
— Wednesday – February 14th, 2018 – Valentine’s Day – Observed
— Friday, March 30th, 2018 – Good Friday – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Sunday, April 1st, 2018 – Easter Sunday – Observed
— Monday, April 2nd, 2018 – Easter Monday – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Saturday – April 28th, 2018 – National Heroes Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Tuesday – May 1st, 2018 – Labor Day / May Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Sunday – May 13th, 2018 – Mother’s Day – Observed
— Sunday – May 20th, 2018 – Whit Sunday – Observed
— Monday – May 21st, 2018 – Whit Monday – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Sunday – June 17th, 2018 – Father’s Day – Observed
— Wednesday – August 1st, 2018 – Emancipation Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Monday – August 6th, 2018 – Kadooment Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Wednesday – October 31st, 2018 – Halloween – Observed
— Friday – November 30th, 2018 – Independence Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Monday – Christmas Eve – December 24th, 2018 – Observed
— Tuesday, December 25th, 2018 – Christmas Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Wednesday – December 26th, 2018 – Boxing Day – Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
— Monday – December 31st, 2018 – Old Years Night – Observed
By: Brett Callaghan