While the holiday season may look very different in 2020, Saint Lucia is keeping its Christmas traditions alive on social media with a special 12-day celebration of its distinctive and signature customs.
The 12 Days of Christmas in Saint Lucia will feature practices that span centuries and are still widely enjoyed during the holiday season such as Bamboo Bursting, Creole carol-singing and a recipe for Black Rum Cake. The fiery art of bamboo bursting kicks off the season, where cannons are made out of large bamboo canes; fuel is poured into a hole and lit. As the flames are blown, loud cannon booms can be heard throughout the island.
One of the most memorable and thrilling Christmas traditions you’ll see, which leaves children wide-eyed in awe and excitement, are the masquerade dancers. These masqueraders, wearing cone-shaped hats and robes made of brightly-coloured strips of crêpe paper perform on the streets to the music of the shak-shak, drum and flute.
The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has collaborated with the Folk Research Centre and the Cultural Development Foundation to curate a distinct 12 Days of Christmas online calendar to showcase the popular festivities, as many events are not possible this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. The content follows Saint Lucia’s national day (December 13) when the island celebrates its patron saint, Saint Lucy, making it the only country in the world named after a woman.
Join the fun every day from December 14-25, 2020 by checking @TravelSaintLucia posts on Facebook and Instagram. See traditions such as the masquerade; Christmas folk chants; solo dancing and music; bamboo bursting; house-to-house; Séwénal; baking of the traditional Saint Lucian Black Cake recipe; Christmas decorating; Festival of Lights; Festival of Carols; Christmas Kwéyòl and Assou Square (On the Square).
Commenting on the 12 Days of Christmas in Saint Lucia, Chief Executive Officer of SLTA Beverly Nicholson-Doty said, “This is a time of year that brings hearts and homes together. While COVID-19 may change the way we celebrate this Christmas, we want to ensure that the spirit of the season is still alive with the various traditions that visitors and Saint Lucians both here and abroad, can be a part of.”