Christmas in the Caribbean: December Festival for Saint Lucia National Day and beyond

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The official end of a calendar year which signals the start of yet another, provides an opportunity for reflection, an outpouring of gratitude and a purposeful commitment for renewal. It seems only natural then that the month of December would be associated with celebration and feasting. 

The December festivals are a series of traditional and historical festivals which bring Saint Lucians together in the spirit of community through artistic creativity with the use of light – a symbol of rebirth.  Saint Lucia’s National Day, or Saint Lucy’s Day – the feast day of the patron saint of light – is celebrated on December 13. The December festivals with their collective theme of devotion and celebration are a precursor to this major feast. Today, the December festivals are an eclectic mix of Saint Lucian culture that merges into a spirit-filled contemporary celebration of the Christmas Season. The three major events of the December festivals are:

• The Lantern Festival – an inventive and competitive showcase of lantern-making where youth, adults, artists, families and schools test their creative skills. Around this time, in years gone by, families would hang lanterns out in their balconies in honour of the patron saint. The festival keeps this tradition alive through the display of hand-crafted lanterns.

Read more at: St. Lucia Star



Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) host, Shamkoe Pilé, shows us highlights from this year’s regional arts festival, CARIFESTA XIII. Enjoy!