On De Scene: Signature of St.Lucia Carnival

>> Monday, June 22, 2009

Each island has their unique element to Carnival and today I want to share with you what is St. Lucia Carnival signature that has made our carnival one to savour.

Like most islands we have the different competitions example: Soca Monarch, Groovy Soca Monarch, Calypso Monarch, Carnival Queen, Panorama, King and Queen of the Bands. But since 2001 we have been hosting the OECS Soca Monarch as of 2006 known as the Caribbean Soca Monarch which is usually held Carnival Sunday.

On the same Carnival Sunday, expect most party bands to host their pre-j'ouvert fete. Now those who familiar with the Trinidad Carnival scene, you would know in Trinidad most J'ouvert bands are separate from the actual mas band. Well, in St.Lucia it is different. When signing up with a band, you are already signed up with that band J'ouvert band. So yes, it is part of de package hence hardly any hassle. But there are also separate J'ouvert Bands catering to those who are not playing Mas.

On the road , St.Lucia Carnival is known for their LIVE BAND , yes live band music on the road on both Monday and Tuesday giving the revelers samples of music that made impact throughout the season and the classics you love to hear. Very few bands, however opt for Hi-Fi or Dj's on de trucks.

Every year bands from our neighbouring island Martinque come over to play Mas with all their drums and other instruments along with their costumes reminding us all of traditional Carnival. And this year considering the social and economic issues which was facing this island back in February (which had their Carnival celebration cancelled). So this year they will have at least 4 bands coming over the seas to join in our Parade of the Bands.St. Lucia Carnival is arguably most influenced by French culture. From the use of our folk Language (patois) in our music which creates alot of humour in our songs

Part of the Carnival Parade includes the display of Ole Mas costumes which highlights social commentary and humor, not forgetting de masquerades on their sticks moving to the beats.

Ole Mas (compliments torontolime.com)

Most Carnivals across de region do highlight a lot of Pan on de road. We also have our pan groups on de road from J'ouvert to de very Last Lap giving revelers an extra "emmm" in their wine .

One more thing , in most islands revelers DO NOT wear full costume on Carnival Monday , in St.Lucia full costume is woren on both days hoping you have enough costume on de tuesday to play Mas. Also a trend which is picking up in St.Lucia is the flooding of band songs (READ MORE)

This year I noticed the CDF included a Carnival Art Exhibition and to be honest I am excited to see how this element is received and displayed . This along with the normal pre events, parties, limes and all the sight-seeing makes St.Lucia Carnival an unforgetable exeperience. Just ask de Nurse !

Welcome to St.Lucia Carnival !

Peace and Soca


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