As Christmas quickly approaches, destinations like Saint Lucia are continuing to develop creative ways to keep aspiring travelers engaged as the world continues to coexist with COVID-19. This year, the Caribbean island’s tourist board is helping keep Christmas traditions alive on social media with a special 12-day celebration, starting today (Dec. 14), of its distinctive and signature customs.
In collaboration with the Folk Research Center and the Cultural Development Foundation, The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has curated a distinct online calendar to showcase popular holiday festivities, as many events are not possible this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The content follows Saint Lucia’s national day (Dec. 13) when the island celebrates its patron saint, Saint Lucy, making it the only country in the world named after a woman.
“The 12 Days of Christmas in Saint Lucia” program features practices that span centuries and are still widely enjoyed during the holiday season on the island, such as Bamboo Bursting, Creole carol-singing and a baking Black Rum Cake.
The fiery art of bamboo bursting kicks off the season, where cannons are made from 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.
Another memorable Christmas tradition is masquerade dancers, who wear cone-shaped hats and dresses made of brightly colored strips of crêpe paper and perform on the streets to the music of the shak-shak, drum and flute.
Other featured traditions include Christmas folk chants; solo dancing and music; house-to-house; Séwénal; Christmas decorating; Festival of Lights; Festival of Carols; Christmas Kwéyòl, and Assou Square (On the Square).
“This is a time of year that brings hearts and homes together,” says Saint Lucia tourism minister Dominic Fedee. “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.”
Postings on Facebook and Instagram will continue every day until Dec. 25 at @TravelSaintLucia.