People in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are gearing up for the Nine Mornings Festival (December 19-24), a unique Vincentian festivity associated with the Christmas season. According to Discover St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Nine Mornings before Christmas, Vincentians awake in the early hours of the morning and partake in a range of activities, among them sea baths, dances (or in local parlance, fetes), bicycle riding and street concerts. In the rural areas, the final morning of the festivity usually ends with a steel band “jump-up”.
The origins of this festivity are clouded in some mystery, although the original tradition relates it to the ‘novena’ of the Catholic Church on the nine days before Christmas. It is believed that after the early morning church services of the Catholics, worshippers began walking the streets while others went for sea baths. From this the popular Nine Mornings festivity emerged. Although popular opinion has this practice as starting during the period of slavery, it was more likely to have been a post-emancipation practice.
For more information on 2016, see https://www.facebook.com/ninemorningsfestival