Independence Celebrations

After the first English settlement at Holetown in 1627, Barbados remained a British colony until achieving independence from Britain on November 30th 1966. That first independence ceremony was accompanied by the raising of the Barbados National Flag, and playing of the National Anthem for the first time.

November 30th is celebrated as Independence Day and is a national holiday in Barbados. The day begins with an elaborate and impressive parade and ceremony at the Garrison Savannah. However, celebrations run throughout November and include sports competitions, fairs, community events, and religious services.

One of the highlights of the Independence celebrations is the decorative lighting of Parliament Buildings and businesses throughout the capital Bridgetown, using blue and gold colored bulbs (the national colors).

Roundabouts on the highways are also lighted, creating a spectacular view at night.

Another highlight of the celebrations is the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) which showcases the artistic talents of Barbadians.

This festival encourages Barbadians of all ages to match their talents in the fields of music, singing, dance, drama, writing, fine art, photography and arts and crafts.

The festival runs throughout the month of November and culminates with a gala presentation in which the finalists are featured.

The year 2016 signals a significant landmark in the history of Barbados, with November 30, 2016 representing 50 years of Independence for this small aspiring nation.