St. VincentWelcome to the embassy of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines to Cuba.

Nine Mornings Celebrations

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is rich in its cultural heritage, but it is best know for its unique nine mornings celebration.  The origin of this unique tradition which started around 1913 is associated with the ‘novena’ of the Catholic Church, nine days before Christmas. It is believed that a Vincentian member of the Dominican Order of the Church initiated a tradition of celebrating a Christmas novena in the early hours of the morning. It is also believed that after the service, worshippers walked the streets while some opted to go to the beach. It was during the procession back to their houses that churchgoers did window shopping and greeted friends with holiday blessings hence the start of this wonderful festival.

In the earlier stages of this festival, it became customary for the ‘boom drum’ composed of musicians playing goatskin drums and wooden flutes to accompany the walkers home. The number of walkers increased and the atmosphere also attracted steel drum bands, street dancing and vendors selling drinks (ginger beer and sorrel), Christmas cake and fresh oranges. Another component which was added was carollers who went from house to house singing Christmas carols. (source www.caribbean.co.uk)

In 1999, the festival became more organized, and community groups throughout the island set the agenda for these early morning festivities.

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