A blend of the local Caribbean culture, African heritage, and Christmas spirit are what you should expect from this 50th year, Saint Kitts and Nevis , national Carnival. Be expectant; this Carnival is widely known as the most significant national event, the most exciting time of the year, and the best small island carnival worldwide! Founded in 1971, St. Kitts & Nevis’s Carnival is fun-filled and legendary! It is a time when the whole country, both returning nationals, residents and visitors, let loose and make unique, unforgettable memories.
Saint Kitts & Nevis National Carnival runs yearly for six weeks. This years’ carnival is starting from the 13th of November, 2021 through December and culminating on the 3rd of January, 2022. Celebrations in December commonly lead up to the primary week of the carnival celebrations during the Christmas and New Year week. Traditionally the Carnival starts on a Friday with a female calypso show and climaxes with the New Year’s Day national carnival parade.
Most participants use this exciting carnival event to bid farewell to the old year and welcome in the new year. Parade Day, the biggest celebration event of the Carnival, occurs on the 1st of January, which is New Year’s Day. The 3rd of January, the last day of the Carnival, is a national holiday and when most carnival winners are announced, the Sugar Mas Awards (SMAs). The final event is an outdoor singing and dancing festival known as “Last Lap”.
What to Expect at Saint Kitts & Nevis National Carnival
Saint Kitts & Nevis National Carnival is known as Sugar Mas by locals. Sugar Mas unites everyone on the island and celebrates the beauty and uniqueness of the custom and culture of the locals. It is the biggest and most special celebration on the island and the climax of all events to attend if you truly want to experience the Kittitian culture. Sugar Mas is composed of costumes, music, folklore, dance, food, fun and everything that visibly reflects the island’s heritage and traditions.
The Carnival is called the best small island carnival in the world. It is an explosion of music, colour, costumes, dance and life. This Carnival is rooted in decades of African and Caribbean carnival traditions that feature many cultural expressions of island life. All this is merged with old-time Christmas festivities because this Carnival occurs during the holiday period.
The Carnival combines costumes and dances for both the young and old. It is a typical reflection of contemporary Caribbean carnivals filled with parades, brightly coloured costumes, beach parties, dancing, fetes and a whole extravaganza of carnival activity. The nights are fun-packed with parties and concerts. You definitely will not want to miss this event for anything in the world!
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS HISTORY
Saint Kitts is an island in the West Indies and known formally as Saint Christopher Island. The eastern coast of the island faces the Atlantic Ocean, while the west side borders the Caribbean Sea. Saint Kitts is considered the ‘mother colony’ of the Leewards Islands; English and French settlers arrived here as early as the 1620’s and then spread to neighboring islands.
The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis is one country constituting Saint Kitts and the neighboring island of Nevis. They are both separated by a 3-kilometre channel known as “The Narrows”. The Island boast of a high literacy rate of approximately 98%, and is known for having one of the highest literacy rates in the world. English is the primary language and residents commonly call themselves Kittitians. The ‘two islands’ country of St Kitts and Nevis was once known as the ‘Gibraltar of the West Indies.’ The islands are the Caribbean’s oldest territories.
The recorded account of Columbus when he sailed by Nevis in 1493 marks the first written history of Nevis. “Nevis,’ as a name, is derived from “Nuestra Senora de Las Nieves,” meaning “Our Lady of the Snows,” because of the cloud-capped mountain. As the years rolled by, Nevis has made quite a number of significant contributions to the Caribbean and also to the world as a whole.
The remarkable jewel of Nevis is one of the most naturally preserved islands in the Caribbean. With its clean air, blue skies and long beaches, you cannot help but stop to appreciate all the natural beauty it exudes. The residents of Nevis are famous for their charm, genuineness and easy-going personalities.
St Kitts and Nevis has made remarkable strides over the years to build an amazingly self-sustaining economy, even as a remote dual-island in the Caribbean’s. Much of the country’s revenue depends on tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking activity. “Tourism is a major driver of our economic growth since it has a unique potential to create jobs and livelihoods. It also plays a role in preserving our natural and cultural heritage and promoting the responsible and sustainable use of the natural environment,” Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant said.
The islands, with lush tropical vegetation, are famous for their white and black sandy volcanic beaches. One side of the country has white sandy beaches, while the other side has black sandy beaches, which is a wonder of nature to behold! The island has a thriving cultural scene of music and dance which is represented at the annual carnival celebrations.
Nevis, which is the smallest of the two islands is known for its blue skies, pristine beaches, vividly green scenery and clean air. This unspoiled, laidback, sublime beauty is a mere 10-minute ride from its sister isle Saint Kitts and is sometimes called the hidden treasure of the Caribbean. The only remaining active 100-year-old railway train in the West Indies, can be found in the island and is now used for tourists’ tours.
The island is evidently among the Caribbean’s superb destination for eco-tourism because of its amazing range of unspoiled eco-systems ranging from the lush density of exotic flora and fauna of the rainforests, to coral reefs and to the mile-long crater rim of the dormant volcano that sits on the island.
Also, among the tropical forests can be found the iconic green vervet monkeys, which are extremely popular. The rare and colorful flock of birds and butterflies are also beautiful to behold.
Saint Kitts and Nevis is famed for its picturesque landscape, rich culture and highly sought-after holiday destination. Its seclusion and natural abundance are a celebrity clientele hotspot and has attracted travelers from all over the world. Saint Kitts and Nevis also enjoyed a thriving cruise sector that saw the islands welcome one million passengers in two consecutive years before the pandemic. The island was recognized as a marquee destination by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association. Just last month, the island has been recognized as one of the top islands in the region by Condé Nast Travelers 2021 Readers Choice Awards. St Kitts and Nevis, in recent years, has invested heavily in its tourism sector. This included Port Zante, which can host three world-class cruise vessels simultaneously.
The phenomenal project was made possible by the islands’ popular Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme . This programme offers well-vetted foreign investors and their families a trusted route to second citizenship once they invest in its Sustainable Growth Fund. The fund, which was introduced in 2018, is recognized as the most straightforward pathway to a second citizenship. Those who can successfully pass the rigorous due diligent process, gain access to alternative business prospects, increased global mobility and the ability to pass citizenship down to their descendants, thus securing their future legacy.
There are a million and one reasons to visit this land of a thousand treasures. Fun filled activities such as Scuba diving, having a beach bonfire, splashing in the pristine waters or just taking a scenic ride on a 100-year-old railway train, are just a few reasons the locals will welcome you to the breath taking, historical and beautiful island of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Saint Kitts and Nevis is simply exotic and breathtaking! So, if you have time to spare before or after St Kitts & Nevis Carnival, do not bother to waste it by just staying indoors and lying around your hotel room. Ensure you soak in the beautiful and diverse beaches, mountains, historic sites, scenic railroads, wildlife areas and nature this country offers. Explore the attractions of this beautiful country. Add more memorable moments to your life with something to reminisce about for a lifetime! Make and create precious memories with your family, friends and loved ones; especially during this spectacular 50th year Carnival Celebration! __M.E.