HOLIDAYS
The country's biggest annual event is Carnival, which in St. Vincent is held during the last week of June and the first week of July. Traditionally, Carnival was celebrated just prior to Lent, the Christian period of fasting before Easter. However, the date was moved to the summer to accommodate visiting Vincentians living overseas.

 Known as "Vincy Mas" ("mas" is short for masquerade), Carnival attracts thousands of Vincentians as well as people from other Caribbean islands. For ten days, the streets of Kingstown are filled with dramatic costume parades, street parties, beauty shows and concerts of calypso, steel band and soca music. Large bands of up to 150 people compete to produce the best costumes and music. Men and women dress up to represent themes such as love, beauty or nature, or activities such as fishing and transportation. Many of the dancers wear enormous gauze-covered wire wings and elaborate headdresses. A narrator describes the theme while the band dances slowly through the streets. A King and Queen of the bands is chosen. 

On the eve of All Souls' Day, some families light candles at the tombs of their deceased relatives and gather at home for a meal in memory of the dead. The islanders celebrate for the nine days preceding Christmas, beginning on December 15. These celebrations include parades through the streets of Kingstown, bicycle races, band music and carolling. The festive season continues until New Year's Day. On January 22, Vincentians celebrate the feast day of St. Vincent.

 At Easter, Bequia holds its annual Easter Regatta and Union Island holds sports and cultural shows, as well as a calypso competition. In May, the Big Drum Festival on Union Island marks the end of the dry season. The Big Drum Dance, influenced by African and French traditions, is performed on the last day of the festival.

  Did you know?
May 1 or Labour Day is also known as Fishermen's Day on St. Vincent. Fishermen participate in fishing and net-mending contests.
January 1 New Year's Day
January 22  St. Vincent and the Grenadines Day
March or April Good Friday and Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
June Whit Monday
July Carnival Days
1st Monday in August Emancipation Day
October 27  Independence Day
December 25 Christmas
December 26 Boxing Day