National Celebrations (Trinidad and Tobago)

  1. Emancipation Day
  2. Indian Arrival Day
  3. Independence Day
  4. Labour Day
  5. Republic Day

Emancipation Day

Emancipation – The fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; liberation. The freeing of someone from slavery.


Emancipation Day celebrates the freeing of the African slaves.

For more than three centuries, between 1518 and 1834, millions of people from their homes in Africa were forcibly transported across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. They were enslaved, forced to work in the sugar plantations. In Trinidad and Tobago, their enslavement continued until 1 August, 1834 when the Emancipation Bill was passed and came into effect freeing thousands of slaves in the British West Indies.(source)

On 1 August, 1985 the government of Trinidad and Tobago declared Emancipation Day a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery. The day replaced the celebration of Discovery Day.

Emancipation Day celebrations take the form of :

  1. Lectures,
  2. street processions,
  3. religious services, and
  4. cultural shows.

Emancipation means that nationals reflect on their freedom, the effects or plight of slavery.