‘Our Christmas, Our Vibes’: Nine Mornings Festival in St Vincent and the Grenadines
by Karen Rollins Dec 4, 2023
The Nine Mornings and Christmas Festival in St Vincent and the Grenadines was officially launched on Sunday 3 December 2023 at Heritage Square with a concert and parade.
This year’s theme is “Our Christmas, Our Vibes.”
Labelled “the ultimate community celebration”, Nine Mornings is held annually from 16-24 December and usually culminates at 4am on Christmas Eve in Kingstown.
Speaking at the official launch for the festival, Cultural Officer, Maxine Browne, urged Vincentians to preserve and celebrate the tradition of Nine Mornings which is unique to the island.
Chairman of the National Nine Mornings Committee, Orandi ‘Bomani’ Charles, also called on the public to be proud of the festival and participate in it.
He said: “We encourage you to embrace this festival as it is our own unique creation. For well over 100 years, we’ve awakened in the wee hours of the morning, nine days before Christmas, to engage in wholesome, fun, entertainment to be enjoyed by all ages. As far as we know, this happens nowhere else in the world.”
The indigenous Nine Mornings Festival is one of the most popular events on the calendar in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
It is believed to have started in 1913 and evolved from the Catholic Church’s ‘Novena’, which saw churchgoers attend early morning church services before walking through the streets to exchange blessings and greet friends.
The modern-day festival features several cultural aspects such as Creole dances / fetes, carolling, street parades, concerts, bike riding, boom drum bands, and early morning sea baths.
National landmarks, churches, homes, and other commercial and public buildings are also lit up in around 50 towns and villages throughout the country.