Independence Day in Barbados

Barbados Independence Day is a holiday that is normally observed on the 30th of November every year, but that date can be moved if the holiday falls on a weekend. In that case, the holiday would be moved to the following Monday. Regardless of when this holiday is celebrated, what’s important is that it commemorates the country’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1966.

Nowadays, it is also used to commemorate the country becoming a republic after it had been a part of the Commonwealth of Nations. That increases the significance of an already important holiday for most residents, and as a result, this holiday is widely celebrated.

The History of Independence Day in Barbados

During the 17th century, Barbados became a British colony, and its first settlement was established in 1627. It would become not only a strategic position for the British for trade and military purposes but also important because of its sugar cane production.

During the mid-20th century, Barbados began to move towards a desire for independence. In 1961, it became self-governing and pushed for independence. On November 30th, 1966, the passage of the Barbados Independence Act by the UK Parliament granted independence to the country. Errol Barrow would become the first Prime Minister of Barbados.

Barbados was a part of the Commonwealth of Nations, and Queen Elizabeth II remained as the country’s head of state, although the country was self-governing. This changed in 2021 when Barbados became a republic, and the Queen as head of state was replaced with a President. The President was Sandra Mason.

Observing Independence Day in Barbados

This holiday is observed all over Barbados with a variety of different events. Not only is there a parade beginning at the Garrison Savannah Racecourse, but there are also lights used all over major government buildings and businesses that represent the colors of the country’s flag. Other events include parties, concerts, and fireworks displays as well.

Where is it celebrated?
Barbados (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 30 Saturday
Next year (2025)
November 30 Sunday
Last year (2023)
November 30 Thursday