Culture of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Much of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines’ culture, as you might expect, is strongly linked to the sea, and to the boats which brought African slaves, Portuguese labourers, and French and British settlers together with indigenous Caribs to give Saint Vincent and the Grenadines its vibrant, multi-ethnic community, that is both proud and unified.
Food and drink in Saint Vincent & The Grenadines
Virtually everything you eat in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines will have been grown or reared locally. The furthest many ingredients will travel is from a small farm on Saint Vincent to a plate at a restaurant on the Grenadine islands. The fish will have been pulled out of the waters surrounding the island by a local fisherman and sold straight to the chef just a couple of hours before it is cooked. Be sure to sample the National dish comprising fried jackfish and roasted breadfruit, and wash it all down with a cool Hairoun Beer or a Sunset rum.
Vincy Mas carnival
Vincy Mas is the Caribbean’s hottest summer festival. Taking place at the end of June beginning of July and spread over twelve days, this is a festival of steel pan, masquerade and calypso, packed with historical meaning and cultural pride. The festival provides fantastic entertainment for all the family with acts and shows such as the King and Queen of the Bands, Junior Carnival, the Miss Carnival beauty show, Steel Band and Calypso competitions and all kinds of different street parades.
Music in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
Music is a big part of Vincentian culture. Every March, locals head to the Emerald Valley Resort on Saint Vincent for the Rhythm & Blues Festival, a two-day event of soulful Caribbean tunes. Gospel Fest takes place during the month of April and is a celebration of traditional Caribbean gospel music. Join in the festivities at many locations all over the island of Saint Vincent – this is a showcase of the best of the gospel talent in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines.
Bequia Regatta – Easter weekend
The Bequia Regatta and the Easterval Regatta (Union Island), take place during Easter weekend every year. The weekend activities include huge boat races, with hundreds of entrants taking part, sports and games, calypso and many other competitions and activities. The Canouan Regatta, which is a similar event, takes place during the Whitsuntide weekend.
Boat building on Bequia
With the decline of the plantations after the abolition of slavery Bequia’s main industry came from the sea. “If you were a boat builder or a fisherman, you had no business building boats, you went fishing.” Herbert Ollivierre, Master Shipwright.
Maroon festival on Union Island
The Maroon draws from ancient harvest rites brought from West Africa by the slaves that were taken to work on the cotton plantations. The day-long festival takes place on a full moon in May and includes songs, dances and drum rhythms, handed from generation to generation.
Model boat builders on Bequia
Every year at the Bequia Easter Regatta, local children sail coconut boats in their own version of the main race. Launched from the beach, the first to sail past a marker buoy wins. It was making these coconut boats, first, so he could compete, and later for other children, that led to a forty-year career for Lawson Sargeant.