We recently featured popular St. Lucian artist Alwyn St Omer in an article based on his just released Moon Dancer Series, a collection of paintings meant to capture the essence of St. Lucian tradition, particularly around Christmas time. His thoughts have generated much discussion about the spirit of Christmas, past and present.
“I grew up in Central Castries where The Masque, Toes and the Pye Banan used to come down at Christmas time. When Christmas was coming you’d see some of them practising by the market and other areas around the city. Christmas was an event where you’d have theatre on the streets; there was food at home, all sorts of things. The masquerade, sometimes the Toes, was so terrifying that my brother and I and our siblings would stay inside. Red Toes, those tarred boys, Mary Ensent, all these characters . . . The Pye Banan was an African tradition: men danced in tribute to women. Those were the days when Castries was like another Venice, with rivers going into the Gardens, and the Basin; the fellas who used to work on the wharf, and the city council workers, these people used to do it as a tradition, and also to earn a little money for Christmas. Anybody who was anybody lived in Central Castries, so at Christmas time, when these people performed, it was like street theatre; you’d throw money to them as they performed. I grew up with all of this, and it’s gone. It’s not there for Christmas anymore.”
— Alwyn St. Omer
“My best Christmases have all revolved around having my family present. I look forward to the Christmas season because it really is a time to slow down and be with family. We’re so busy running from one thing to the next every other day that it’s nice to have the holidays to look forward to, when we can show the people we love just how much we appreciate them!”
— Joanna St Marthe
“The magic of Christmas appears to dwindle significantly past the age of 18. Christmas traditions seem to fade away as people grow up, move away, or just lose interest. Ask anyone born before the 70s and they’ll tell you just how much the generation of today does not appreciate traditions. I am, as they call it, a millennial and I am sure there are many who will be quick to say our generation is largely responsible for destroying and disregarding traditions once considered sacred, including those associated with the Christmas season. Somewhere in that conversation they’ll be sure to let you know that we are the unfortunate ones to not have lived at a time when Christmas traditions in St. Lucia were alive and well!”
— Saronella Jn Baptiste
“I grew up by the seaside in La Toc. Every Christmas we’d go from house to house. People would come to your house from 6 a.m. One of our cousins used to wake us up every Christmas morning; if we didn’t see him, we knew something was wrong. When parents came, everyone came – children, everybody. We lived in Banan, right by the seaside near La Toc. Things are different now but, nonetheless, I always look forward to the Christmas season.”
— Sandra Williams
The Embassy of Mexico to the Eastern Caribbean States is thrilled to share with the people of Saint Lucia its message of season´s greetings and best wishes for an extremely prosperous New Year. The Embassy is elated to be sharing another year developing stronger ties and fostering cooperation in the hopes of promoting the development of Saint Lucia and the Greater Caribbean region as a whole.
Mexico´s festive season runs from December 12th to January 6th, commencing with the celebration of the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe and ending with the Epiphany (Day of the Three Kings). One of the most longed after traditions during the season for Mexicans, especially children, is the piñata. The tradition dates back to before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas and was used by the Aztecs to give offerings. However, the Franciscan missionaries were responsible for popularizing the piñata and making it a staple of every Christmas party in Mexico, eventually reaching all corners of the world.
This season let us be more willing to help friends, family, the environment and complete strangers too. Let us celebrate by giving light to those who need it most. Let us relish the special times we’ve shared and fill the house with laughter.
— Embassy of Mexico family to yours