Labour Day in Jamaica in 2024

Labour Day in Jamaica in 2024
  How long until Labour Day?
Labour Day
  Dates of Labour Day in Jamaica
2025 Jamaica Fri, May 23 National Holiday
2024 Jamaica Thu, May 23 National Holiday
2023 Jamaica Tue, May 23 National Holiday
2022 Jamaica Mon, May 23 National Holiday
2021 Jamaica Mon, May 24 National Holiday (in lieu)

Replaced Empire Day in 1961. Marks a labour rebellion in 1938

When is Jamaican Labour Day?

This national holiday is celebrated on May 23rd. If Labour Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday.

Labour Day in Jamaica commemorates a labour rebellion on this day in 1938 that contributed to Jamaican independence.

History of Jamaican Labour Day

As part of the British Empire, Jamaica had historically had a public holiday on May 24th to mark Queen Victoria's birthday. This holiday was known as Empire Day. Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day in the 1950s, but is still celebrated as Victoria Day in most regions of Canada.

In 1962, Jamaica gained its independence from the United Kingdom. Celebrating Empire Day was no longer seen as relevant to the fledgeling country and in 1961, Jamaican Chief Minister Norman Washington Manley proposed replacing Empire Day with a new holiday called Labour Day.

This new holiday was to be a commemoration of a labour rebellion on May 23rd 1938. The rebellion was led by Alexander Bustamante who gained prominence during the rebellion, becoming a noted trade union leader and eventually becoming Jamaica's first prime minister following independence.

In 1972, Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley started the movement to make Labour Day a day when Jamaicans would get involved in local community projects. Today, on Labour Day, groups, individuals, and communities all over Jamaica will dedicate their time and labour to improve public areas, do repairs, paint or build homes, schools, and churches.

Paragraph 4 of the Schedule to the Holidays (Public General) Act provides that where the 23rd of May falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the following Monday is observed as a public holiday.

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