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Travelers’ British Virgin Islands Holidays Guide

May 15, 2024 | Britnie Turner

The British Virgin Islands celebrate a wide range of public holidays, many of which are religious. The Cabinet approves the public holidays for each upcoming year before the year begins. 

This list includes the public holidays that are approved for 2024. Please note that the list may change in subsequent years depending on the dates established by the Cabinet.

British Virgin Islands Holidays in 2024

The following public holidays are approved for 2024. If you plan to visit the British Virgin Islands for one of these BVI events, make sure to book your accommodations in advance. Demand for lodging increases around these dates.

Our luxury wellness resort is a private island destination just off Tortola where Road Town (BVI capital) is located. This makes it an excellent option for individuals, couples, and families who want to join in the fun while enjoying fresh island-to-table fare, wellness treatments, and watersports.

Monday 1 January – New Year’s Day

New Year’s Eve celebrations are held at Trellis Bay Market on Beef Island, Tortola, and on the small island of Jost Van Dyke. BVI locals refer to New Year’s Eve as “Old Year’s Night”. Crowds come from around the world to join the parties at Trellis Bay, Foxy’s Tamarind Bar, and the other bars in Great Harbour. Expect two days of live music, Caribbean cuisine, cocktails, rum, typical Caribbean clothing, and lobster barbecues on the beach.

Monday 4 March – The Anniversary of the Birth of Hamilton Lavity Stoutt

Hamilton Lavity Stoutt was the Virgin Islands’ first Chief Minister and “a man of action and inclusiveness” who always expressed gratitude and appreciation to others. His legacy is remembered on the first Monday in March every year. The date is typically marked with a memorial celebration and wreath-laying ceremony.

Friday 29 March – Good Friday

Good Friday is the day Christians remember Jesus’ death on the cross. BVI prohibits businesses from selling liquor on Good Friday until 6 p.m.

Monday 1 April – Easter Monday

The island of Virgin Gorda hosts an annual Easter Festival during the entire Easter weekend (including Easter Monday) with live music, a food fair, and a parade. A “Calypso Monarch” is named every year on the Sunday night.

Monday 20 May – Whit Monday

Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday is a religious observance that marks the coming of the Holy Spirit. This holiday marks the end of the Easter cycle.

Friday 14 June – Sovereign’s Birthday

This public holiday includes a parade in Road Town in which the police, firemen, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, and other community organizations participate. The Governor and his wife traditionally hold a garden party at the Governor’s residence on this day.

Monday 1 July – Virgin Islands Day

This day aims to promote a renewed national consciousness and assertion of Virgin Island identity. This holiday was previously known as Territory Day.

Monday 5 August to Wednesday 7 August – Emancipation Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

BVI holds a three-day festival with parades, horse races, beauty pageants, and other traditional activities every August to commemorate the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in Road Town on Monday 1 August 1834.

Monday 21 October – Heroes and Foreparents Day

This public holiday honors BVI pioneers and community members who have contributed to the development of the BVI—particularly in the areas of fisheries, agriculture, boat building, health, the arts, religion, business, politics, and public administration.

Monday 25 November – Commemoration of the Great March of 1949 and the Restoration of the Legislative Council

This public holiday commemorates the event in its title—the historic march that took place in November 1949 to protest significant issues that were affecting Virgin Islanders during that time. This march led to political changes that eventually led to the restoration of the Legislative Council and the development of a more modern Virgin Islands.

Wednesday 25 December – Christmas Day

You can celebrate Christmas in the British Virgin Islands at popular tourist hotspots, including Soggy Dollar Bar, Pirate’s Bight, Cooper Island Beach Club, Willy T, and Leverick Bay. Foxy’s Tamarind Bar hosts an annual Christmas Eve Dinner with music and dancing. Events on Anegada include celebrations at the Wonky Dog, Big Bamboo, Anegada Reef Hotel, and Cow Wreck Beach.

Thursday 26 December – Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a public holiday that recalls the British custom of giving boxes to staff and tradesmen the day after Christmas.

Celebrate in the BVI

Tourists who plan to sail in the Caribbean or visit the BVI around the date of a public holiday can use this guide to plan ahead and ensure the best possible trip (whether that means joining in the fun or making provisions ahead of shop closures). Understanding the meaning behind each public holiday can also help you appreciate the local culture and show sensitivity to things that British Virgin Islanders hold dear.

Keep in mind that there are several annual events in the BVI—including the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival—that aren’t public holidays but are very popular with visitors. If you need accommodations to celebrate a holiday or event in the BVI, book your stay at The Aerial, BVI!