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Emancipation Day
Puerto Rico

Emancipation Day 2021, 2022 and 2023 in Puerto Rico

Many of the holidays in Puerto Rico are the same as in the United States, but on 22 March, Puerto Rico celebrates its own unique holiday called Emancipation Day.

YearDateDayHoliday
202122 MarMonEmancipation Day
202222 MarTueEmancipation Day
202322 MarWedEmancipation Day
202422 MarFriEmancipation Day
Please scroll down to end of page for previous years' dates.

Emancipation Day looks back to the day in 1873 when, while still under Spanish rule, slavery was officially abolished throughout the island. Nonetheless, “freed” slaves were forced to work three more years for their former masters to reimburse them for the loss of their “property”. In addition, slave owners were given money by the government to compensate them for their loss.

But even though it took a little longer for slavery to fully and truly end in Puerto Rico, it’s the date of the passing of the anti-slavery law on 22 March 1873 that’s the basis of the holiday’s date.

For Emancipation Day, Puerto Ricans throw colourful, boisterous parties, fill themselves with traditional cuisine, and remember the history of slavery in Puerto Rico and how it was abolished.

Previous Years

YearDateDayHoliday
202022 MarSunEmancipation Day
23 MarMonEmancipation Day Holiday
201922 MarFriEmancipation Day
201822 MarThuEmancipation Day
201722 MarWedEmancipation Day