Barbados Public Holidays
In 2018, Barbados has 12 national public holidays, commonly referred to locally in Barbados as “Bank Holidays.” 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 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 of the 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 have a drink or asked 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 lieu. Barbados?
Barbados celebrates a lot of the same Holidays as the UK, as Barbados was once owned by Britain. 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.
This is the birthday of the first Prime Minister of Barbados who is fondly remembered in 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.
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 national heroes of Barbados. 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.
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 of 1833.
A march is held through the streets of Barbados and culminates at a statue erected, in honor of a man called Bussa, on the ABC Highway.
Bussa is known as the leader of Barbados’ longest slave revolt in 1816, what is now called the Bussa Rebellion. This revolution was aimed at gaining freedom for the slaves of Barbados; hence the strong ties to emancipation and Emancipation Day.
Where Barbadians celebrate the end of the sugar cane harvest.
Grand Kadooment Day, is the grand finale of the Crop Over Festival 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 groups called ‘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.
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
Barbados is a very religious Island, and Christmas is celebrated not only with many festive activities and fun events but also with 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 2020
|Month, Date and Year||Day||Public Holiday||Status|
|January 1st, 2020||Wednesday||New Year’s Day||Public Holiday|
|January 21st, 2020||Tuesday||Errol Barrow Day||Public Holiday|
|February 14th, 2020||Friday||Valentine’s Day||Observed|
|April 10th, 2020||Friday||Good Friday||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|April 12th, 2020||Sunday||Easter Sunday||Observed|
|April 13th, 2020||Monday||Easter Monday||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|April 28th, 2020||Tuesday||National Heroes Day||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|May 1st, 2020||Friday||Labor Day / May Day||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|May 10th, 2020||Sunday||Mother’s Day||Observed|
|May 31st, 2020||Sunday||Whit Sunday||Observed|
|June 1st, 2020||Monday||Whit Monday||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|June 21st, 2020||Sunday||Father’s Day||Observed|
|August 1st, 2020||Saturday||Emancipation Day||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|August 3rd, 2020||Monday||Kadooment Day||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|October 31st, 2020||Saturday||Halloween||Observed|
|November 30th, 2020||Monday||Independence Day||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|December 24th, 2020||Thursday||Christmas Eve||Observed|
|December 25th, 2020||Friday||Christmas Day||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|December 26th, 2020||Saturday||Boxing Day||Public Holiday – Barbados National Holidays|
|December 31st, 2020||Thursday||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 the Monday.
By: Brett Callaghan