Trinidad and Tobago Independence Day is observed on 31 August every year.
This year marks the country’s 60th anniversary of independence from the United Kingdom.
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is a dual-island in the southernmost part of the Caribbean.
The island of Trinidad was inhabited for centuries by Indigenous peoples before becoming a colony in the Spanish Empire, following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498. The explorer observed Tobago but never made the landfall.
Both islands endured control from various colonial powers, Spanish, French and eventually British – with Trinidad formally becoming a Crown colony in 1802. The British took control of Tobago during the Napoleonic Wars and the two islands became a combined territory in 1889.
The country later became part of the West Indies Federation from 1958 until 1962, when Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 31 August 1962.
“Father of the nation” Eric Williams became the first Prime Minister, serving from 1956, before independence, until his death in 1981.
Trinidad and Tobago officially became a republic in 1976.
To celebrate the nation’s independence, parades, songs, and dances are held throughout the day. The Governor-General attends celebrations in representation of Her Majesty The Queen.