Saint Lucia is excited to celebrate the Creole Heritage Month theme “Creole: The Root of People” or “Wasin Pep-la”. It is also known as Jounen Kweyol Day and it will be hosted in Canaries, Soufriere and Mabouya Valley, with other communities participating and promoting traditional cultural expressions.
Creole Heritage Month is celebrated in Saint Lucia:
Saint Lucia’s Creole Heritage Month takes place in October, with an Arts and Heritage Festival in October 2023 and Jounen Kweyol (Creole Day) on October 30 2023.
The Government of Saint Lucia highlighted that the month-long celebration is designed to highlight Saint Lucia’s cultural icons, technologies, artefacts and traditional way of life.
The month-long celebration is designed to highlight Saint Lucia’s cultural icons, technologies, artefacts and traditional way of life.
Executive Director of the Folk Research Centre on Creole Heritage Month:
Hilary LaForce, who is serving as an ‘Executive Director of the Folk Research Centre’, marked that the month-long celebration serves to heighten Saint Lucian’s awareness about their heritage. The Kweyol (Creole) language and traditions will lead to an understanding and appreciation of their culture.
He further said, “We’ve been hosting Jounen Kwéyòl (Creole Day) activities in several different communities over the years. To date, we have held celebrations in 28 different communities. Since then, we thought that it would be more fitting to observe an entire month rather than just a day of activities, and during that time, we have a number of activities planned.”
Mr. LaForce is calling on Saint Lucians and visitors alike to participate in the celebrations by saying, “We use the opportunity that Creole Heritage Month provides to educate our people. What we do by way of education is to encourage persons to recognize cultural icons in their community, bring back some particular area of activity that is unique to that community, exhibit what we call technologies, and showcase artefacts and various items which are being used in the community.”
Mr La Force said such activities within communities are important as they serve to keep traditions alive.
This year, Jounen Kwéyòl celebrations will take place in four host communities—Anse La Raye, Dennery, Monchy and Vieux-Fort—on Sunday, October 26.
Saint Lucia Tourism Authority:
The Tourism Authority of Saint Lucia invites tourism enthusiasts to join the festivities and celebration of their rich and diverse cultural roots. This month-long celebration of cultural expression is sure to stir the soul of tourists with a joyous blend of music, dance, art, culinary delights and many more.
The celebrations kick off on October 1 with Oktoberfest en Kwéyòl and reach a crescendo on the last Sunday of October, where the entire island unites in exuberant revelry with the grand celebration of Jounen Kwéyòl(Creole Day).
October 28 as International Creole Day:
October 28 is International Creole Day, as proclaimed by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Here are some facts related to Creole Day celebrations-
- Jounen Kwéyòl (Creole Day) is celebrated in Dominica and Saint Lucia. In Dominica, it is observed on the last Friday in October. In Saint Lucia, it is observed on the last Sunday of October.
- In 1981, Saint Lucia celebrated Creole Day for the first time. Since then, this celebration of French Creole Heritage has extended into a month of music, dance, cuisine, art and other cultural expressions.
- The event is a celebration of the richness and diversity of Saint Lucia’s cultural, ethnic and artistic heritage.
- The celebration includes musical, theatrical and other performances, seminars and lectures, a variety of culinary experiences, street parties, and art exhibitions; the Festival culminates.
Plans unfolding for Creole Heritage Month:
This year, the activities of Creole Heritage Month are expected to be a grand event with a dynamic infusion of cultural traditions, dramas, dance, songs and so on.
Rhyesa Joseph, The Executive Director of Folk Research Centre (FRC), declared, “This year, we have big plans for the Creole Festival …we will be bigger than Saint Lucia Jazz, bigger than Carnival …and initially, we will honour persons that have been promoting the Creole language”.
- On October 6, The Rooftop at Belle Vue, Vieux Fort, will feature a Cultural Awards Evening in honour of Creole media broadcasters who have contributed to the cultural development of Saint Lucia.
- CDF’s events coordinator, Drenia Frederick, resplendently dressed in ‘La Marguerite Royal’ attire.