Season of Emancipation (Beginning)
Barbados commemorates the freeing of Afrikan slaves in the Americas with an annual Season of Emancipation from April 14 to August 23. The annual Season of Emancipation consists of a series of distinguished dates that celebrate notable figures and events in Afro-Caribbean history.
The Season of Emancipation coincides with Emancipation Day that is celebrated throughout the Caribbean.
The Slavery Abolition Act 1833, which abolished slavery throughout the British Empire (with the exceptions “of the Territories in the Possession of the East India Company”, the “Island of Ceylon” and “the Island of Saint Helena”; the exceptions were eliminated in 1843), came into force the following year, on 1 August 1834.
Only slaves below the age of six were freed. Enslaved people older than six years of age were re-designated as “apprentices” and required to work, 40 hours per week without pay, as part of compensation payment to their former owners. Full emancipation was finally achieved at midnight on 31 July 1838.