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why do we celebrate emancipation day in jamaica

August 1, 1834
The, which abolished slavery throughout the British Empire (with the exceptions "of the Territories in the Possession of the ", 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. Former slaves over the age of six were redesignated as "apprentices" required to work, 40 hours per week without pay, as part of payment to their former owners. Full emancipation was finally achieved at midnight on 31 July 1838. Emancipation Day in is part of the annual "Season of Emancipation", which began in 2005. The Season runs from April 14 to August 23. the anniversary of the, a major in 1816, April 14 National Heroes Day, April 28; festival, which includes May, June and the first week of August Africa Day, May 25 Day of National Significance, which commemorates the, July 26 Emancipation Day, August 1 birthday of, August 17, August 23 Emancipation Day celebrations usually feature a Walk from Independence Square in to the Heritage Village at the Crop Over Bridgetown Market on the Spring Garden Highway. At the Heritage Village, in addition to a concert, there is a wreath-laying ceremony as a tribute to the ancestors. Traditionally, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Culture, and representatives of the Commission for Pan African Affairs are among those laying wreaths. Emancipation Day is part of a week long cultural celebration in, during this time Jamaicans also commemorate on August 6, 1962. Both August 1 and August 6 are public holidays. Emancipation Day had stopped being observed as a nation holiday in 1962 at the time of independence.

It was reinstated as a national public holiday under The Holidays (Public General) Act 1998 after a six-year campaign led by, among others. Traditionally people would keep at vigil on July 31 and at midnight ring church bell and play drums in parks and public squares to re-enact the first moments of freedom for enslaved Africans. On Emancipation Day there is a reenactment of the reading of the Emancipation Declaration in town centres especially which was the seat of the Jamaican government when the Emancipation Act was passed in 1838. , a public park in Kingston, opened on the eve of Emancipation Day, July 31, 2002, is named in commemoration of Emancipation Day. On 1 August 1985 became the first country in the world to declare a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery. It replaced Columbus Discovery Day, which commemorated the arrival of Christopher Columbus at Moruga on 31 July 1498, as a national public holiday. The commemoration begins the night before with an all-night vigil and includes religious services, cultural events, street processions past historic landmarks, addresses from dignitaries including an address from the President of Trinidad and Tobago and ends with an evening of shows that include a torchlight procession to the national stadium. celebrates its Emancipation day on this date, placing it in either July or August. Some countries observe the holiday as "August Monday". celebrates carnival on and around 1st Monday of August. Since 1834 have observed the end of slavery. The first Monday and Tuesday in August was observed as a bank holiday so the populace can celebrate Emancipation Day. Monday is, a street party that mimics the early morning emancipation. : In addition to commemorating emancipation, it is the first day of "August Week", the Anguillian celebrations. is celebrated August 1, as Carnival commences. : Celebrations are mainly concentrated in Fox Hill Village, a former slave village whose inhabitants, according to folklore, heard about their freedom a week after everyone else on the island.

The celebration known as the Bay Fest, beginning on August 1 and lasting several days, is held in the settlement of Hatchet Bay on the island of Eleuthera, and "Back to the Bay" is held in the settlement of Tarpum Bay, also on Eleuthera. : The first Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of August are celebrated as "August Festival". : The first Monday and Tuesday are celebrated as "Emancipation Day" and also "Culturama" in Nevis. : The first Monday is celebrated as August Monday. : The first Monday in August is celebrated as "Emancipation Day" with Cultural activities. commemorates emancipation with a national holiday on May 22, marking the slave resistance on that day in 1848 that forced Governor Claude Rostoland to issue a decree abolishing slavery. commemorates emancipation on May 27. has a week-long celebration around May 27, commemorating the abolition of slavery. August 1, 1834 marked a special day for Africans in British colonies as it was the day they received freedom from slavery. In Jamaica, the Emancipation Declaration was read from the steps of the Old Kings House in Spanish Town, St Catherine, the country s capital at the time. The bill for the abolition of slavery in the British colonies received the royal assent on August 28,1838. It stated: Be it enacted, that all and every one of the persons who on the first day of August one thousand eight hundred and thirty four, shall be holden in slavery within such British colony as aforesaid, shall, upon and from and after the said first day of August, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-four, become and be to all intents and purposes free and discharged from all manner of slavery, and shall be absolutely and forever manumitted. passage of this bill in the British Parliament in England enabled approximately 311,000 enslaved Africans in Jamaica and hundreds of thousands more across the colonies the freedom for which many of their predecessors had fought and died.

However, the Africans did not receive full freedom until four years later, as all slaves over six years old were subjected to a mandatory six-year period of apprenticeship. The ex-slaves would work - without pay - for their former masters for three-quarters of the week (40 hours), in exchange for lodging, food, clothing. medical attendance and grounds on which they could grow their own provisions. They could also, if they chose, hire themselves out for additional wages during the remaining quarter of the week. With this money, an ex-slave could then buy his freedom. Emancipation Day was officially introduced as a public holiday in Jamaica in 1893. The First of August celebrations, however, were discontinued in 1962, when Jamaica gained independence. It was replaced by Independence Day, then observed on the first Monday in August. Emancipation Day was re-instituted in 1997 by then Prime Minister PJ Patterson as a national holiday celebrated on August 1. Independence Day was also fixed at August 6.

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