|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
|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?
1 or Labour Day is also known as Fishermen's Day on St. Vincent. Fishermen
participate in fishing and net-mending contests.