Barbados flag 1066

Barbados Independence Day

Barbados Independence Day

The 30th November marks Barbados' Independence from the United Kingdom, which was first granted in 1966 after over 300 years of British rule.


Barbados became an English colony in the early seventeenth century. The British brought over many slaves from Africa to work on sugar plantations up until slavery was abolished in 1834. After much rioting due to poor economic conditions, politician and lawyer Grantley Adams founded the Barbados Labour Party in 1938. In 1955, Errol Walton Barrow became a founding member of the Democratic Labour Party and its leader in 1961. He led Barbados to Independence on 30 Nov 1966. Barrow then became the first Prime Minister of Barbados, serving continuously for the next ten years.

Independence from Britain was achieved on the 30th November 1966 after 361 years of British rule. The independence ceremony was celebrated by the first ever hoisting of the Barbados national flag, as well as the first rendition of the national anthem.

Did you know?

The Trident on the Barbadian flag represents the split between Barbados and its colonial ties. An intact Trident had appeared when the island was a British colony, but now it proudly shows the shaft of the Trident broken, to symbolise the nation’s split from Britain and to celebrate its independence.

Carnival Person


The month-long independence celebrations include sports competitions, fairs, community events, and religious services. A grand parade is typically held at the Garrison Savannah, the site of the original independence ceremony in 1966. In recent years, the parade has been held at Kensington Oval on the 30th November.

One of the many highlights of the independence celebrations is the blue and gold decorative lighting of Parliament buildings, Independence Square, Independence Arch and all the businesses throughout the capital of Bridgetown, all creating a spectacular view at night.

Another amazing part of the celebrations is the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA), where Barbadians are encouraged to showcase their talent in the fields of music, singing, dance, drama, writing, fine art, photography and arts and crafts. The festival runs throughout the whole of November and ends with a gala presentation where the finalists are featured.

At Turtle Bay, we are proud to be inspired by Barbados!