Barbados Public Holidays
In 2023, Barbados will have 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 the island offers. 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 sometimes Pudding and Souse. Snacks and drinks are also taken for a full day of relaxation with family and 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 many 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 the 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 the Father of Independence and Social Transformation in Barbados.
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 Barbados’s ten official national heroes.
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 us in the celebration at Independence Square.
Labor Day / May Day
This Public Holiday celebrates two events in one day. Linked with International Workers’ Day, this Holiday marks the worker’s achievements. We also observe May Day, and you will find the Barbados Landship dancing at the May Pole.
Also known as Pentecost Monday, this Holiday is celebrated the day after the Christian religious feast of Pentecost.
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 Barbados’ longest slave revolt in 1816, 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.
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 continue through the streets to calypso music and end on Spring Garden Highway.
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. The Holiday 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, 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 2023
|Month, Date, and Year||Day||Public Holiday||Status|
|January 1st, 2023||Sunday||New Year’s Day||Public Bank Holiday (1st)|
|January 2nd, 2023||Monday||New Year’s Day (In Lieu)||Public Bank Holiday (2nd)|
|January 6th, 2023||Friday||Epiphany||Observed – Full Moon|
|January 16th, 2023||Monday||Martin Luther King Jr. Day||Observed|
|January 21st, 2023||Saturday||Errol Barrow Day||Public Bank Holiday (3rd)|
|February 14th, 2023||Tuesday||Valentine’s Day||Observed|
|February 22nd, 2023||Wednesday||Ash Wednesday||Observed|
|March 17th, 2023||Friday||St. Patricks Day||Observed|
|March 26th, 2023||Sunday||Daylight Saving Time||Observed – It starts in North America, but Barbados has no daylight saving time.|
|April 2nd, 2023||Sunday||Palm Sunday||Observed|
|April 7th, 2023||Friday||Good Friday||Public Bank Holiday (4th) – Barbados National Holidays|
|April 8th, 2023||Saturday||Holy Saturday||Observed|
|April 9th, 2023||Sunday||Easter Sunday||Observed|
|April 10th, 2023||Monday||Easter Monday||Public Bank Holiday – (5th) Barbados National Holidays|
|April 28th, 2023||Friday||National Heroes’ Day||Public Bank Holiday – (6th) Barbados National Holidays|
|May 1st, 2023||Monday||Labor Day / May Day||Public Bank Holiday – (7th) Barbados National Holidays – International Workers Day|
|May 5th, 2023||Friday||Cinco de Mayo||Observed|
|May 14th, 2023||Sunday||Mother’s Day||Observed|
|May 28th, 2023||Sunday||Whit Sunday||Observed – Pentecost|
|May 29th, 2023||Monday||Whit Monday||Public Bank Holiday – (8th) Barbados National Holidays|
|June 18th, 2023||Sunday||Father’s Day||Observed|
|June 19th, 2023||Monday||Juneteenth||Observed – Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States
commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
|July 4th, 2023||Tuesday||Independence Day||Observed – in the USA.|
|August 1st, 2023||Tuesday||Emancipation Day||Public Bank Holiday – (9th) Barbados National Holidays|
|August 7th, 2023||Monday||Kadooment Day||Public Bank Holiday – (10th) Barbados National Holidays|
|October 29th, 2023||Sunday||Daylight Saving Time||Observed – Ends in North America, but Barbados has no daylight saving time.|
|October 31st, 2023||Tuesday||Halloween||Observed|
|November 10th, 2023||Friday||Veterans Day||Observed – in the USA|
|November 23rd, 2023||Thursday||Thanksgiving Day||Observed – in the USA|
|November 30th, 2023||Thursday||Independence Day||Public Bank Holiday – (11th) Barbados National Holidays|
|December 24th, 2023||Sunday||Christmas Eve||Observed|
|December 25th, 2023||Monday||Christmas Day||Public Bank Holiday – (12th) Barbados National Holidays|
|December 26th, 2023||Tuesday||Boxing Day||Public Bank Holiday – (13th) Barbados National Holidays|
|December 31st, 2023||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.
Last Updated: January 23rd, 2023
Publisher: Totally Barbados