Christmas in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines : Nine Mornings

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is an island country in the Lesser Antilles chain, in the southern portion of the Windward Islands. It lies at the southern end of the eastern border of the Caribbean Sea where the latter meets the Atlantic Ocean.

The Capital and largest city of this country is Kingstown.

Christmas in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Christmas Celebrations in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines : 

An interesting aspect of the Christmas season in St Vincent is the pre-Christmas celebration called Nine Mornings, observed for the for the nine days – December 16-24 and it is a unique Vincentian festivity associated with the Christmas season. Vincentians awake in the early hours of the morning.

Christmas in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Nine Mornings before Christmas features early morning street activities such as parades through the streets of Kingstown, bicycle races, string band serenades, caroling and singing. People take part in a range of activities, among them sea baths, dances (or in local parlance, fetes), bicycle riding and street concerts. The sound of drums and steel pans, along with Vincy food and drink are very evident. Usually these activities start early in the morning, at around 5.00 am, while it is still dark and end nearly in two or three hours. Bay Street in Kingstown and the Cultural Center in Calliaqua are full of people at this time. At around 7.00 am, the Nine Mornings activities give way to a regular work day.

The origins of this festivity are clouded in some mystery, although the original tradition relates it to the ‘novena’ of the Catholic Church on the nine days before Christmas. It is believed that after the early morning church services of the Catholics, worshippers began walking the streets while others went for sea baths. From this the popular Nine Mornings festivity emerged. Although popular opinion has this practice as starting during the period of slavery, it was more likely to have been a post-emancipation practice.

Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!