On 1 August, people in many Caribbean states and dependencies, including Saint Lucia, celebrate Emancipation Day. In Saint Lucia, Emancipation Day is a public holiday commemorating the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.
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Being a British colony at the time, the passing of the 1833 Abolition Act freed all of the slaves living on Saint Lucia. In fact, all slavery and slave trading within the entire, vast British Empire was ended, with the exception of lands held by the East India Company.
Although Emancipation Day comes near Carnival Season (late July to early August), it is not technically a part of Carnival. In some countries, Emancipation Day has been moved to the first Monday of August so it always lands on the first day of Carnival, but Saint Lucia has not thus moved the date.
Saint Lucians celebrate Emancipation Day with parades, concerts, cultural shows and exhibits, educational panels and forums, and more. It is a day deeply significant to the people of the island and a time to reflect on the progress of freedom in Saint Lucia over the last two centuries.
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