Nine Mornings is a unique Vincentian festivity associated with the Christmas season. Nine Mornings before Christmas, Vincentians awake in the early hours of the morning and partake in a range of activities, among them sea baths, dances (or in local parlance, fetes), bicycle riding and street concerts. In the rural areas, the final morning of the festivity usually ends with a steel band “jump-up”. View the 2009 Nine Mornings program here.
Nine Mornings Festival Nine Mornings Festival Nine Mornings Festival
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.
The Breadfruit Festival is held annually in the month of August, and compliment the Emancipation Month activities as the breadfruit is associated with slavery.
The fruit was brought to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to feed the slaves, as it was a cheap source of food. Every weekend during August, the festival takes place in different communities throughout St. Vincent. Admission to the events is free. A variety of dishes made from breadfruit are exhibited, and Vincentians and visitors are encouraged to support the farmers and to eat local.
The dishes include but are not limited to breadfruit cheese pie, breadfruit puff, pizza, lasagna, breadsticks, quiche, sweet and sour candy (blossom). There are also breadfruit drinks available.
Local cultural activities are also part of the festival, they include dancing, drumming, and performances by calypsonians among others. Hoteliers and restaurateurs are encouraged to utilize the breadfruit in meal preparation during the month of August.
St Vincent and the Grenadines boast over 25 different varieties of breadfruit, the fruit forms part of the country’s national dish of roasted breadfruit and fried jack fish.