This day commemorates Trinidad and Tobago’s independence from Britain in 1962. At midnight on 30th August 1962, the Union Jack (British flag) was lowered and the Trinidad and Tobago flag was raised for the first time. Bells tolled and sirens rang out to herald the birth of the newly independent nation. Several international dignitaries were present for this auspicious occasion including the Queen’s representative Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal who read the message sent by Queen Elizabeth II, relinquishing her rule.
Today, Independence Day is celebrated with military-style parade through the streets of Port-of-Spain. Cheering spectators gather in the national colours to see the parade creating a carnival-like atmosphere.
The evening is usually marked by the presentation of National Awards in a ceremony held at the President’s House. Finally, this day of celebration ends with fireworks displays at the Queen’s Park Savannah, where thousands of people gather to view the free show.