Emancipation Day 2018

Public Holiday in several countries in the Caribbean

Emancipation Day is celebrated in several countries in the Caribbean
Anse Cafard Slave Memorial, Martinique

When is Emancipation Day?

How long until Emancipation Day*?
This holiday next takes place in 286 Days.
Country 2018 Date
Public Holidays in Puerto Rico in 2018 Puerto Rico March 22nd
Public Holidays in Martinique in 2018 Martinique May 22nd
Public Holidays in Guadeloupe in 2018 Guadeloupe May 27th
Public Holidays in French Guiana in 2018 French Guiana June 10th
Public Holidays in Suriname in 2018 Suriname July 1st
Public Holidays in Barbados in 2018 Barbados August 1st
Public Holidays in Guyana in 2018 Guyana August 1st
Public Holidays in Jamaica in 2018 Jamaica August 1st
Public Holidays in Saint Lucia in 2018 Saint Lucia August 1st
Public Holidays in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2018 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines August 1st
Public Holidays in Trinidad and Tobago in 2018 Trinidad and Tobago August 1st
Public Holidays in Bermuda in 2018 Bermuda August 2nd
Public Holidays in Bahamas in 2018 Bahamas August 6th
Public Holidays in Dominica in 2018 Dominica August 6th
Public Holidays in Grenada in 2018 Grenada August 6th
Public Holidays in Saint Kitts and Nevis in 2018 Saint Kitts and Nevis August 6th
Public Holidays in Turks and Caicos Islands in 2018 Turks and Caicos Islands August 6th
Marks the end of Slavery across the British Empire on 1 August 1834
* days until the main observed date of 1st August

This holiday marks the end of slavery in the British Empire.

It is a public holiday in several Caribbean countries and though the holiday commemorates events that took place on 1 August 1834, it may be celebrated in different days in these countries.

History of the holiday

The British like other colonial powers had allowed the widespread practice of slavery to take place during the time of expansion to the new world. In 1772, the ruling in the case of the case of Somerset v Stewart determined that slavery was unsupported by the common law in England and Wales. While the ruling was not clear on the situation in other parts of the Empire, this case was seen as a key turning point in the change towards emancipation.

Slavery was finally abolished throughout the British Empire by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which came into effect on 1 August 1834. The territories controlled at that time by the East India Company, Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka) and St. Helen's were excluded. Slavery was not abolished in these regions until 1843.

Did you know?

The first country in the world to observe a public holiday for Emancipation Day was Trinidad and Tobago, when Emancipation Day replaced Discovery Day in 1985.

Abolition Day in Martinique

On 22 May 1848 a slave rebellion in Martinique forced Governor Claude Rostoland to issue a decree abolishing slavery.

Related Holidays

Emancipation Day is a public holiday in Tonga. It is celebrated on or around 4 June to mark the abolition of the serf system in Tonga by King George Tupuo on 4 June 1863.

In the United States of America, Emancipation Day is a state holiday in Washington DC and is celebrated on the weekday closest to April 16th. As it can fall close to the annual tax return date, Emancipation Day can often lead to a delay in the date that Americans need to file their tax returns.

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