The first Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in August are observed as public holidays in the BVI to commemorate the Emancipation Act. This historic legislation, which took effect on August 1, 1834, marked the abolition of slavery across the British Empire.
A notable landmark associated with this significant event is the Sunday Morning Well (pictured), located in close proximity to the BVI Supreme Court building. While the official proclamation for emancipation was given at the Fireproof Building, it was at the Sunday Morning Well that many Virgin Islanders first heard the news on August 1, 1834. This place holds strong symbolism and serves as a focal point for the festival celebrations in early August. Later on, the festivities officially commenced as a nationwide event in 1954, and it is now known as the Emancipation Festival.
This year marks the 69th annual Emancipation Celebrations in the BVI. During this vibrant event, the rich culture and history of the Virgin Islands are showcased through captivating displays of local music, pageants, delectable food, "rise and shine" tramps, and captivating presentations.
Please be advised that in light of the BVI Emancipation Celebrations and holidays, the BVI Finance office will be closed from August 7 to 11. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding.