Barbados National Holidays

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Barbados Public Holidays

In 2021, Barbados has 13 national public holidays, commonly referred to locally in Barbados as “Bank Holidays.” On these days, banks and businesses are typically closed. 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 a trip to one of the many beautiful beaches or parks that the island has to offer. Big hampers and picnic baskets are lovingly prepared, early in the morning, with all Barbadian favorite local foods. Like Macaroni Pie, Peas and Rice, Baked Chicken, and sometime Pudding and Souse. Many snacks and drinks are also taken for the full day of relaxation with friends.

If you happen upon one of these Bank Holiday gatherings, don’t be surprised if you are invited to drink or ask to taste a flying fish cutter or, maybe, a slice of Cassava Pone.

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 in lieu.

Barbados celebrates a lot of the same Holidays as the UK, as Britain once owned Barbados. However, we also have holidays that celebrate our history and culture. If you are on Island for a Bank Holiday, go along and experience some of the activities marking the Holiday.

Errol Barrow Day

This is the birthday of the first Prime Minister of Barbados, fondly remembered for helping to form the Democratic Labor Party and was instrumental in gaining Barbados her Independence from Great Britain in November 1966. Errol Barrow is known in Barbados as the Father of Independence and Social Transformation.

National Heroes Day

This Bank Holiday celebrates our national heroes who have played a significant part in Barbados’ history and development. Nine men and one woman make up the ten official national heroes of Barbados.

Many events are held to celebrate the nine men and one woman who make up the ten official Barbados national heroes. Many schools will often take part in the preparation of these celebrations.

Join in the celebration in Independence Square.

Labor Day / May Day

This Public Holiday celebrates two events in one day. Linked with International Workers’ Day, this holiday marks the achievements of the worker. We also observe May Day, and you will find the Barbados Landship dancing the May Pole.

Whit Monday

Also known as Pentecost Monday, this holiday is celebrated the day after the religious Christian feast of Pentecost.

Emancipation Day

This bank holiday is celebrated to recognize the abolition of slavery through the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.

A march is held through Barbados’ streets and culminates at a statue erected, in honor of a man called Bussa, on the ABC Highway.

Bussa is known as Barbados’ longest slave revolt in 1816, what is now called the Bussa Rebellion. This revolution aimed to gain freedom for the slaves of Barbados, hence the strong ties to emancipation and Emancipation Day.

Kadooment Day

Where Barbadians celebrate the end of the sugar cane harvest.

Grand Kadooment Day is the Crop Over Festival’s grand finale, which Celebrates the end of the sugar cane harvest. Grand Kadooment Day is held on the first Monday of August.

Locals and visitors alike flock to Barbados to join in this national celebration.

Revelers, people in the parade, are divided into ‘bands,’ which colorfully depict different themes.

The bands start at the National stadium, all with vibrant colored costumes and music depicting their chosen theme, where they are judged for great prizes and prestige. The “jump-up,” merriment, and dancing then continues through the streets to calypso music and ending on Spring Garden Highway.

Independence Day

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

Barbados is a very religious Island, and Christmas is celebrated with many festive activities and fun events, and Worship.

Check out the Barbados Events Calendar to see what’s happening on the island during any Bank Holiday time so that you can join in the celebrations, action, and fun.

Holidays in Barbados 2021

Month, Date, and Year Day Public Holiday Status
January 1st, 2021 Friday New Year’s Day Public Holiday
January 21st, 2021 Thursday Errol Barrow Day Public Holiday
February 14th, 2021 Sunday Valentine’s Day Observed
April 2nd, 2021 Friday Good Friday Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
April 4th, 2021 Sunday Easter Sunday Observed
April 5th, 2021 Monday Easter Monday Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
April 28th, 2021 Wednesday National Heroes Day Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
May 1st, 2021 Saturday Labor Day / May Day Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
May 9th, 2021 Sunday Mother’s Day Observed
May 23rd, 2021 Sunday Whit Sunday Observed
May 24th, 2021 Thursday Whit Monday Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
June 20th, 2021 Sunday Father’s Day Observed
August 1st, 2021 Sunday Emancipation Day Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
August 2nd, 2021 Monday Kadooment Day Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
October 31st, 2021 Sunday Halloween Observed
November 30th, 2021 Tuesday Independence Day Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
December 24th, 2021 Friday Christmas Eve Observed
December 25th, 2021 Saturday Christmas Day Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
December 26th, 2021 Sunday Boxing Day Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays
December 31st, 2021 Friday Old Years Night Observed

Note: Banks and Businesses are typically closed on these days.

Note: If a bank holiday falls on a Sunday, it is carried over to Monday.

About Totally Barbados (Edit profile)

Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow their businesses online with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.