Carnival Tuesday Date in the current year: August 6, 2024

Carnival Tuesday In many countries of the Caribbean, the annual carnival is held in July and August rather than during the Pre-Lenten season to celebrate the abolition of slavery. A number of these countries observe Emancipation Day on the first Monday of August; in some of them, the following Tuesday is also a public holiday, commonly referred to as Carnival Tuesday or August Tuesday.

The countries and territories where Carnival Tuesday is a public holiday include Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Each of them has specific traditions associated with Carnival Tuesday.

The Antiguan Carnival begins in late July and lasts for ten days, culminating on the first Monday and Tuesday of August. The carnival kicks off with an opening parade, but the real fun begins at the j’ouvert party that starts in the wee hours of Monday morning. After that, Carnival Monday and Tuesday in the Antiguan capital of St. John’s are filled with colorful parades with floats, bands and troupes.

The parades culminate at the Antigua Recreational Ground where the best troupes are awarded various prizes. The winners of pageants and competitions also receive their awards here. The culminating event of the Antiguan Carnival is the Last Lap parade that begins at 7 o’clock in the evening on Carnival Tuesday and lasts until midnight.

In the British Virgin Islands, there are two carnivals. The Virgin Gorda Easter Festival Celebrations are held in late March and early April (around Easter), and the BVI Emancipation Festival on Tortola takes place in early August. The latter culminates on the first Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of August. All three days are public holidays.

The highlight of Carnival Tuesday in the British Virgin Islands is the traditional horse race competition. Horse racing is a popular sport on Tortola, and special holiday races are held at least twice a year, on August Tuesday and on Boxing Day. However, there were no August Tuesday races in 2017 due to flooding.

Saint Kitts and Nevis also hosts two carnivals every year. The Saint Kitts and Nevis National Carnival (Sugar Mas) on Saint Kitts is held during the Christmas holiday season, while the Nevis Culturama Festival takes place in August. Culturama lasts for twelve days, culminating on August Monday and Tuesday. Carnival Tuesday is the day of the Culturama Grand Parade.

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Carnival Tuesday, August Tuesday, public holidays, Caribbean carnival, Emancipation Day