Only slaves below the age of six were freed. Enslaved people older than six years of age were redesignated as "apprentices" and required to work, 40 hours per week without pay, as part of compensation payment to their former owners. Full emancipation was finally achieved at midnight on 31 July 1838.
Emancipation Day in Barbados is part of the annual "Season of Emancipation", which began in 2005. The Season runs from April 14 to August 23. Commemorations include:
Emancipation Day celebrations usually feature a walk from Independence Square in Bridgetown to the Heritage Village at the Crop Over Bridgetown Market on the Spring Garden Highway. At the Heritage Village, in addition to a concert, there is a wreath-laying ceremony as a tribute to the ancestors. Traditionally, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Culture, and representatives of the Commission for Pan African Affairs are among those laying wreaths.
Emancipation Park, Kingston, Jamaica 2004
Emancipation Day in Jamaica is a public holiday and part of a week-long cultural celebration, during which Jamaicans also celebrate Jamaican Independence Day on August 6, 1962. Both August 1 and August 6 are public holidays.
Emancipation Day had stopped being observed as a nation holiday in 1962 at the time of independence. It was reinstated as a national public holiday under The Holidays (Public General) Act 1998 after a six-year campaign led by Rex Nettleford, among others.
Traditionally people would keep at vigil on July 31 and at midnight ring church bell and play drums in parks and public squares to re-enact the first moments of freedom for enslaved Africans. On Emancipation Day there is a reenactment of the reading of the Emancipation Declaration in town centres especially Spanish Town which was the seat of the Jamaican government when the Emancipation Act was passed in 1838.
Emancipation Park, a public park in Kingston, opened on the eve of Emancipation Day, July 31 in 2002, is named in commemoration of Emancipation Day.
Trinidad and Tobago
On 1 August 1985 Trinidad and Tobago became the first country in the world to declare a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery.
The commemoration begins the night before with an all-night vigil and includes religious services, cultural events, street processions past historic landmarks, addresses from dignitaries including an address from the President of Trinidad and Tobago and ends with an evening of shows that include a torchlight procession to the national stadium.
Thursday before the first Monday in August
Bermuda celebrates its Emancipation day on this date, placing it in either July or August.
First Monday in August
Some countries observe the holiday as "August Monday".
Antigua celebrates carnival on and around the first Monday of August. Since 1834 Antigua and Barbuda have observed the end of slavery. The first Monday and Tuesday in August was observed as a bank holiday so the populace can celebrate Emancipation Day. Monday is J'ouvert, a street party that mimics the early morning emancipation.
Anguilla: In addition to commemorating emancipation, it is the first day of "August Week", the Anguillian Carnival celebrations. J'ouvert is celebrated August 1, as Carnival commences.
The Bahamas: Celebrations are mainly concentrated in Fox Hill Village, Nassau, a former slave village whose inhabitants, according to folklore, heard about their freedom a week after everyone else on the island. The celebration known as the Bay Fest, beginning on August 1 and lasting several days, is held in the settlement of Hatchet Bay on the island of Eleuthera, and "Back to the Bay" is held in the settlement of Tarpum Bay, also on Eleuthera.
British Virgin Islands: The first Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of August are celebrated as "August Festival".
Saint Kitts and Nevis: The first Monday and Tuesday are celebrated as "Emancipation Day" and also "Culturama" in Nevis.
Dominica: The first Monday is celebrated as August Monday.
Grenada: The first Monday in August is celebrated as "Emancipation Day" with Cultural activities.
Martinique commemorates emancipation with a national holiday on May 22, marking the slave resistance on that day in 1848 that forced Governor Claude Rostoland to issue a decree abolishing slavery.
While the date of the First August Monday holiday in Canada is historically linked to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1834, not all of provinces commemorate the holiday as such.
In 2008, the Province of Ontario dedicated August 1 as "Emancipation Day"
Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, also hosts Caribana, which is held the first Monday in August. Started in 1967, it has become the largest Caribbean festival in North America. It is a two-week celebration, culminating in the long weekend with the Kings and Queens Festival, "Caribana" parade and Olympic Island activities.
Locally, the August Holiday in Toronto has been designated as "Simcoe Day" to commemorate Ontario's first Lieutenant GovernorJohn Graves Simcoe, who in 1793 approved legislation to abolish slavery in Upper Canada, now Ontario, the first jurisdiction in the British Empire to do so.
The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 came into full effect in the Cape Colony on the 1st December 1838 after a four-year period of forced apprenticeship. About 39,000 enslaved people were freed and £1.2 million (roughly equivalent to £4,175,000,000 as a proportion of GDP in 2016 pounds) – of £3 million originally set aside by the British government – was paid out in compensation to 1,300 former slave holding farmers in the colony.
December 1 is celebrated as Emancipation Day in South Africa most notably in the city of Cape Town.
On January 4, 2005, MayorAnthony A. Williams signed legislation making Emancipation Day an official public holiday in the District. Although Emancipation Day occurs on April 16, by law when April 16 falls during a weekend, Emancipation Day is observed on the nearest weekday. This affects the Internal Revenue Service's due date for tax returns, which traditionally must be submitted by April 15. As the federal government observes the holiday, it causes the federal and all state tax deadlines to be moved to the 18th if Emancipation Day falls on the weekend and to the 17th if Emancipation Day falls on a Monday. Each year, activities will be held during the public holiday including the traditional Emancipation Day parade celebrating the freedom of enslaved persons in the District of Columbia. The Emancipation Day celebration was held yearly from 1866 to 1901.
In Columbus, Mississippi, Emancipation Day is celebrated on May 8, known locally as "Eight o' May". As in other southern states, the local celebration commemorates the date in 1865 when African Americans in eastern Mississippi learned of their freedom.
Though federal law outlawed slavery in the state, Mississippi itself did not ratify the federal constitutional amendment abolishing slavery until February 7, 2013.
In Texas, Emancipation Day is celebrated on June 19. It commemorates the announcement in Texas of the abolition of slavery made on that day in 1865. It is commonly known as Juneteenth. Since the late 20th century, this date has gained recognition beyond Texas, and has been proposed for a national Emancipation Day.
Emancipation Day is celebrated on August 8 in Paducah, McCracken county and Russellville, Logan county Kentucky. According to the Paducah Sun newspaper, this is the anniversary of the day slaves in this region learned of their freedom in 1865.
Puerto Rico celebrates Emancipation Day (Día de la Abolición de Esclavitud), an official holiday, on March 22. Slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico in 1873 while the island was still a colony of Spain.
^"Trinidad and Tobago Emancipation Day." Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, edited by Helene Henderson, Omnigraphics, Inc., 5th edition, 2015. Credo Reference, http://cordproxy.mnpals.net/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/hfcwd/trinidad_and_tobago_emancipation_day/0?institutionId=4015. Accessed 15 Jan 2018.
This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.