Independence Day: November 30
Independence Day is a national holiday in Barbados.
November 30 is celebrated in Barbados as Independence Day, and it is a national holiday. In 1966, Barbados achieved independence from the British, who had controlled Barbados as a colony since 1627.
History of Independence Day in Barbados
The first British to land in Barbados were sailors looking for water supplies for their voyage from South America to England in the year of 1625. Later, in 1627 and 1628, British settlers came to the island and took control. The natives were made slaves of the British who used them to plant sugar cane alongside slaves brought from Africa.
Several slave rebellions were planned during British rule, but none were successful. The number of African slaves that were brought from African nations increased as time passed. In the 18th century, most of the population of Barbados was black, a contrast from the English and Scots-Irish predominance from the previous century.
In 1834, slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire, Barbados included. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that the descendants of slaves began fighting for equal rights within Barbados. The problem was exasperated as British farmers’ still maintained political control of the island.
In 1949, control was wrested away from the British, and Sir Grantley Adams, founder of the Barbados Labour Party, became the first Premier of Barbados in 1958. Barbados was then a self-governing colony of the British, and Adams started negotiations for the county’s independence. Independence was eventually granted on November 30, 1966. That same year, Barbados became part of the Commonwealth of Nations, and a year later, it was granted a seat at the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
Barbados’ Independence Day Traditions, Customs and Activities
Celebrations of Independence Day in Barbados start with an impressive parade and ceremony at Garrison Savannah, a horse racing venue near the capital city of Bridgetown. Throughout the whole month of November, there are sports, fairs, community events, and religious services dedicated to the theme of Independence nationwide. The Parliament Buildings are decorated with colours of blue and gold, and public buildings and businesses are adorned with the colours and flags of Barbados. Talented Barbadians join together on this day to display their talents in music, dance, drama, photography, and arts and crafts at the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts. The exhibitions run throughout November, and a final gala is organized to present awards for outstanding Barbadian artists.