What is Emancipation Day?
August 1st is Emancipation Day in Trinidad and Tobago, a public holiday. Trinidad and Tobago was the first country in the world to commemorate the abolition of slavery with a national observance, and since that time several other countries (mostly in the Caribbean) have followed suit.
For quite a few years now the last week in July, building up to the holiday (August 1), has been set aside for a series of festivals, lectures, films and fairs in honour of the occasion.
In 2010 I blogged about my attendance at the annual Emancipation Day village.
Last year (2016) I experienced a very unique tour, put on by local fashion designer, Robert Young, called “Freedom Road”. That tour took attendees overnight through various eating establishments and an Orisha Palais, culminating on Calvary Hill in Arima for the firing of the cannon that originally signaled the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, and attending a ceremony performed by Trinidad’s First Peoples.
It was a phenomenal experience, one which I am looking forward to revisiting (with friends) this year! Read on to learn more about the “Dotish Tour Experience”, view some images from last year’s outing, and learn how you too can come along. I definitely hope you will join me! 🙂
Port of Spain, July 26, 2017 –
Stepping into an African Nation Dance.
Sharing dinner on the East Coast.
Giving thanks at a First Peoples smoke ritual in Arima.
These are just a few of the experiences that patrons of “Dotish Tour VII” will experience as they venture into some of Trinidad’s sacred spaces on the eve and morning of Emancipation.
The brain child of prominent local fashion designer Robert Young, the tour (now in its seventh year) is part of his ‘Dotish Tour’ series.
Innovative in their topic and scope each ‘Dotish Tour’ immerses attendees in little known aspects of Trinidadian life. “They are designed to leave one really feeling dotish over how little we know and how little we are taught. You will gain perspective, build community with other people, and witness hidden parts of our history”.
“Dotish Tour VII” will run from 7 pm on July 31st until the next morning, after which patrons will have also have the option of joining the Emancipation Procession in Port of Spain or playing with jouvay.ayiti. Cost is $230 – $350 TT (sliding scale) and covers transport as well as a late dinner prepared by ARCTT – the Alliance of Rural Communities of Trinidad & Tobago (https://www.facebook.com/TheNewRuralTT/)
To learn more and/or to register:
Unable to join me? Why not try my Emancipation Day Menu 🙂 It’s below!