Public holidays in the British Virgin Islands

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Holidays in the British Virgin Islands are predominantly religious holidays, with a number of additional national holidays. The most important holiday in the Territory is the August festival, which is celebrated on the three days from (and including) the first Monday in August to commemorate the abolition of slavery in the British Virgin Islands.

Where fixed date holidays (such as Christmas Day and Boxing Day) fall on a weekend, the holiday is normally taken in lieu on the next succeeding working day. However, in 2010 when Christmas Day fell on a Saturday and Boxing Day fell on a Sunday, only one day off was given in lieu. An official explanation offered by the Attorney General's department was that because those two days are both "common law holidays" and not statutory holidays, both of them were deferred to the same date - the next Monday. The position taken by the Attorney General was somewhat surprising, as it differed with the common law position expressed to be taken in the United Kingdom.[1]

Date Name Remarks
1 January New Year's Day
5 March Lavity Stoutt's birthday A day of recognition for the longest serving Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands
12 March Commonwealth day
Good Friday Friday before Easter[2]
Easter Monday Monday after Easter
Whit Monday Monday falling 50 days after Easter
Sovereign's birthday Observed on the second Saturday in June
1 July Territory Day
Festival Monday 1st Monday in August; celebrating emancipation in the Territory
Festival Tuesday
Festival Wednesday
21 October Saint Ursula's day Patron saint of the British Virgin Islands
25 December Christmas Day
26 December Boxing Day

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ English common law applies in the British Virgin Islands pursuant to the Common Law (Declaration of Application) Act, 1705
  2. ^ Easter is observed in the Territory according to Western Christian traditions, ie. (in summary), on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after 21 March (the day of the ecclesiastical vernal equinox).