Jamaica celebrates 173rd anniversary of emancipation

On midnight of July 31, 1838 it was reported with great pride that many slaves journeyed to the hilltops to greet the sunrise of Friday, August 1, 1838 that symbolized a new beginning in their lives. When morning broke, large congregations joined in thanksgiving services held in several chapels and churches across the island.

Jamaicans continue to celebrate Emancipation Day through the reenactment of the reading of the Emancipation Declaration in town centres particularly, Spanish Town, St. Catherine which was the seat of Parliament when the Emancipation Act was passed in 1838. The day is also widely observed as a national public holiday when all schools and public buildings are closed.