Saint Lucia celebrates Jounen Kwéyòl as part of Independence day activities

Castries, Saint Lucia: Saint Lucia declared its independence in 1967 and celebrated its culture every year in October.

Saint Lucia celebrates Jounen Kwéyòl as part of Independence day activities
Saint Lucia celebrates Jounen Kwéyòl as part of Independence day activities

Castries, Saint Lucia: Saint Lucia declared its independence in 1967 and celebrated its culture every year in October.

The traditions of each of the island’s original inhabitants are celebrated as part of Creole Heritage Month. One celebration, known as Jounen Kwéyòl, happens on the last Friday or Sunday of October and involves a great party atmosphere with plenty of music, dancing, drinking and, of course, food! It is the celebration of the mixed culture of the island, along with the French/African dialect known on the island as Kwéyòl.

The entire island of St. Lucia embraces their culture and spends time reflecting on the importance of protecting the heritage of the island.

Communities hold various cultural events, festivals, and parades that showcase different elements of history and culture. Local dishes, foods and drinks that were prepared in years past are brought to the forefront again, especially green fig and saltfish, which is Saint Lucia’s national dish.

The ingredients for the food are all locally sourced and prepared using cooking techniques that are unique to the island of Saint Lucia, while the utensils used are made from local plants. The plates used are from the Calabash plants locals cut, dry and sand the calabash into a bowl, while the cups are made from bamboo.

Through the stories told by the locals, one can truly start to understand the different cultures and ethnic groups that reside on the island and appreciate how much the island and its heritage mean to everyone.

Tambo rhythms and a whole host of musical events take place throughout the island while revellers dance the night away wearing traditional clothing called Wob Dwiet and Madras; bright and colourful plaid outfits that were part of Sunday and holiday celebrations dating back to the end of the 18th century.

HelpAWS is also proud to call Saint Lucia home and celebrate the culture and history that make this island and the people, so special.

“We want to take time to recognize and celebrate the beautiful island where our favourite furry family members come from. Without Saint Lucia, there would be no HelpAWS. While most people are getting ready for Halloween, Saint Lucia recognizes a different holiday,” said the animal welfare organization Helpaws while appreciating the country.