The St. Lucian year is marked by a multitude of festive events, from Carnival and Calypso celebrations to world-class tennis tournaments and weekly street parties. For music lovers, the best bet of the year is the annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival, a four-day extravaganza, May 4th-13th, attracting some of the world's very best performers to the island. While here you can tour the island by Helicopter, Charter a yacht, Ride a Horse or relax with a round of Golf. For those of you who enjoy more vigorous pursuits, there are plenty of places to Windsurf, Snorkel, Dive, Water-ski, or play Tennis or Squash. Or Enjoy the thrill of Deep-sea Fishing or explore the weekly Street Party at Gros Islet. Experience the culture of the people at the Castries Market or take a Safari deep into the Rain Forests: - It's all here for you to enjoy.
New Year's Day - Like every where else in the world this a time people look forward to whether it be starting off the new year in church or at parties but it is always a spectacular event. On this day many people make their resolutions for the year ahead. New Year's Holiday is spent at Assou square or on the beach even visiting the rest of the family.Assou Square - a giant fair held at the Cul De Sac grounds to mark the beginning of each new year. The fair highlights some of our cultural activities such as Masquerade, Toes and Papa Djab. There is also many fun rides and games, a fantastic place to bring your family for fun and entertainment.
Independence for St. Lucia was achieved in 1979. Historical symbolism is treated with great pride by St. Lucians. There is always a church service and a school rally held to celebrate this great day in the life of St. Lucians. Kite Flying another national tradition which features highly throughout this month.
Traditional Lent Period
Parties are kept to a minimum and religious activity becomes more prominent. Calmer tropical weather period supports many marine based activities.
The dominant Catholic traditions are most evident at this time, particularly on Good Friday, a day of church services and restraint from pleasurable things. Highlights of the meal on this day is "Akwa" or fish cake, and pain d' espices (penepis), a thin oval biscuit. Easter Sunday resembles Christmas Day with its church services, gift-giving and fetes. Earth Day is celebrated during this month to honor Mother Earth with rituals centered around Sunrise and Sunset.
Labor Day this is a holiday for all the workers in St. Lucia to recognize the important role we all play in national development. The day is characterized by lots of Union activity. The Festival of Comedy featuring comedians from all over the Caribbean is hosted by the St. Lucia National Trust and traditionally held during this month. St. Lucia Jazz Festival This festival, now in its tenth year, has become the leading Jazz festival in the region. Click on the hyperlink for more information. Mothers have a day where their hard work and contributions are celebrated and awarded.
The Fisherman's Feast begins with a church service, followed by the blessing of gaily decorated boats and boat sheds on the beaches. Feasting and merrymaking lasts the whole day into the early morning hours. St. Lucia Squash Open: World renown squash players get together with amateurs for a casual but very competitve event. Calypso activities heat up in preparation for the great Calypso competition which precedes the Carnival celebrations in mid July. Fathers too get their day to celebrate their contributions to the family and society.
Carnival is the main feature of July. Various camps are set up for the production of costumes for the many shows and street parades, and visitors are encouraged to join a carnival band. The Miss Carnival Queen Beauty Pageant takes place in June this year and has grown from strength to strength over the years. Eight beautiful ladies each representing a business sector, vie for the coveted Miss Carnival Queen title. The winner usually goes on to represent St. Lucia at regional pageants during the year of her reign. The Kids Summer Safari is an event which brings together local and visiting children, between the ages of 5 to 18, to learn about St. Lucia's environment, nature, folk traditions and history. Activities include hiking, canoeing, craft making, birdwatching and photography. Traditional Holiday period for students:round-island field trips.
Emancipation Day marks the end of slavery in the Eastern Caribbean well over 100 years ago and is celebrated on the first Monday in August each year. It makes for a great holiday weekend. The market vendors celebrate their feast day with a religious service, followed by a festival of food, song, dance and general merriment in the island's various markets. The Castries market is usually the main center of activities. The Rose Festival honours the rose with great pomp and ceremony, including a royal kingdom complete with king, queen, dignitaries and loyal subjects. There is a grand party at which no expense is spared to make the day successful. The Market Vendor's Feast brings out vivid cultural expressions.
On International Creole Day, St. Lucians join hands with kweyol-speaking people around the world in solidarity and in celebration of their exciting common culture. Special activities include preparation of traditional foods, exhibitions of traditional items and folklore. La Marguerite Festival celebrates the beautyof the small bluish purple flower. Jounen Kweyol celebrated in different communites where kweyol speaking people congregate to enjoy traditional foods, folklore, and other traditional exhibitions.
Remembrance Day honors those who fought in the two World Wars with wreaths, ceremonial parades and parties. Poppies and stickers are sold to help aid families of ex-servicemen. St. Cecilia's Day honors the patron saint of music and musicians with a church service, street music and sporting events for musicians. At ARC, the major yacht event, boaters can enjoy fine facilities available to yachters. It kicks off in Grand Canaria toward the end of the month, for the two week race across the Atlantic to end at Rodney Bay Marina in the North of the Island.
December in St. Lucia is a month-long festival, revolving around National Day celebrations and the Christmas season. The focus on National Day is building pride in the country with sporting, cultural, religious, social, and commercial activities, such as the Festival of Lights, featuring a lantern-making competition and the decoration of towns and villages with lights. Other events include the National festival of choirs, a festival of bands and a market festival akin to the market vendors feast day. Then comes December 25, Christmas Day with all the festivities of the season. The following day is a public holiday Boxing Day.