Free to Celebrate

Colourful costumes are on display, including a depiction of the Moriah Ole Time Wedding, during the Emancipation Day event (August 1st).

The twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago celebrated Emancipation Day on Monday (August 1, 2022). Tobago’s celebrations involved a street procession through the streets of Crown Point, concluding at the Store Bay Heritage Park. 

Participants showed their cultural pride as they walked, danced, and sang in a colourful display, while visitors got a chance to enjoy in-person viewing of the event. 

Britain passed the Slavery Abolition Act in August 1833 and it came into effect on August 1, 1834. The Emancipation celebrations were held to commemorate the 188th anniversary of the liberation of enslaved Africans.

One hundred and fifty-one years later, on August 1, 1985, Trinidad and Tobago became the first country in the world to declare a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery.

The celebrations concluded the 2022 edition of the Tobago Heritage Festival, which included multiple events such as the Moriah Ole Time Wedding, Les Coteaux Folk Tales and Superstitions, and the Miss Tobago Heritage Personality.

Secretary of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation Councillor Tashia Burris celebrates Emancipation Day.