Independence Day in Antigua and Barbuda in 2024

Independence Day in Antigua and Barbuda in 2024
English Harbour, Antigua Image via Pixabay
  How long until Independence Day?
Independence Day
  Dates of Independence Day in Antigua and Barbuda
2025 Nov 1, Nov 3
Antigua and BarbudaMon, Nov 3National Holiday (in lieu)
Antigua and BarbudaSat, Nov 1National Holiday
2024 Antigua and Barbuda Fri, Nov 1 National Holiday
2023 Antigua and Barbuda Wed, Nov 1 National Holiday
2022 Antigua and Barbuda Tue, Nov 1 National Holiday
2021 Antigua and Barbuda Mon, Nov 1 National Holiday

Commemorates Antigua and Barbuda's independence from the UK on November 1st 1981

When is Independence Day in Antigua and Barbuda?

Independence day is a public holiday in Antigua and Barbuda on November 1st.

If November 1st falls on a Saturday or Sunday the following Monday shall be a public holiday, and on that day all the official acts and activities in celebration of the anniversary of Independence will take place.

It is the National Day of Antigua and Barbuda and marks independence from the United Kingdom on this day in 1981.

History of Antiguan Independence Day

The islands were first sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1493 during his second voyage to the new world. The subsequent Spanish settlers to the Americas gave the islands a miss due to the lack of fresh water and the understandable hostility of the local Caribs, who called the islands home before the arrivals of the European.

Did you know?

The country's name means "ancient and bearded"! Antigua is Spanish for "ancient" and was the name given by Christopher Columbus in honor of the Virgin of La Antigua in the Seville Cathedral.  And Barbuda is Spanish for "bearded".

The British arrived with sailors from St. Kitts in 1632, founding a settlement at Falmouth on the south coast. Sir Christopher Codrington established the first large sugar estate in Antigua in 1674, with sugar production going on to dominate the country's economy for the next two hundred years.

Antigua formally became a British colony in 1667. From 1685 until 1860, the island of Barbuda was leased to the Codrington family.

Unlike many other Caribbean colonies, ownership didn't pass regularly between Britain, Spain and France as imperial spats turned into conflict; in fact, apart from a brief period of French occupation in 1666, the islands remained under British control. This was partly due to the fact that Antigua was the main dockyard used in the Caribbean by the British Navy, making it an important strategic asset to keep hold of.

As with many other Caribbean countries, the demand for self-determination began to grow in the twentieth century. It was driven by a desire for better conditions and rights for workers. Vere C Bird formed the country’s first trade union in 1939.

The islands became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on November 1st 1981, with Elizabeth II as the first Queen of Antigua and Barbuda. Vere C Bird became the first Prime Minister.

How is Antiguan Independence Day Celebrated?

Independence day is a popular holiday on the islands with events such as food fairs, sports competitions, dance festivals, art and craft exhibitions held during the weeks in the lead up to Independence Day.

On Independence Day, the Prime Minister makes an address to the nation followed by a grand ceremonial parade.

Translate this page