Indian Arrival Day, celebrated on 30th May, commemorates the arrival of the first Indian Indentured labourers from India to Trinidad, in May 1845, on the ship Fatel Razack. The Fatel Razack brought not only a new labour force to assist in the economic development of Trinidad, but also a new people with a new culture.
While this momentous event has been celebrated among the East Indian community in Trinidad and Tobago for many years, it was not until 1994 that it was made an official public holiday. It was called Arrival Day. In 1995, it was re-named Indian Arrival Day. On 30th May each year, Indian Arrival Day commemorates this momentous event by staging a re-enactment of the arrival of the Fatel Razack at various beaches throughout Trinidad and Tobago. There is also music and dance, and outstanding members of the community are honoured for their contributions to society.
Indian Immigration to Trinidad spanned the period 1845-1917. During this period over 140,000 Indians were transported to the island. The journey was long and arduous and living conditions were deplorable. After disembarking at Nelson Island, the arrivals were fed and rested for a couple weeks and then sent to the various estates that had requested them previously.