Bassy - Love Vine
December 9, 2022
Vincy Christmas is de best

Times and seasons do change. Long ago Christmas officially began wid Nine Mornings. In SVG we have two versions of Nine Mornings, dey’s de Novena, from de Latin word foh Nine; an original Catholic Feast dat consists of nine consecutive days of early morning Mass, “Prayers in petition for ah favour.” And den dey’s de Vincy Cultural Nine Mornings Festival, which is unique to SVG.

Nobody as yet has been able to pin an exact date, time and place when and where de Cultural aspect of de Festival all began in SVG. Historian Doctor Adrian Fraser in his research, said he had seen documents dat suggests de tradition was present before de abolition of slavery in 1838. Dis suggests dat our Vincy Nine Mornings has bin around during and after slavery, close to 200 years old. On my late arrival in 1941 de Nine Mornings was very much alive, simple an informal and included fore-day morning activities: walking, swimming, de beginning of de street jump-up Carnival Style.

In de 1950/1960 period, de Tradition took to de dance halls at 2:00 a.m. and from dancing people went straight to work. But over de years Vincy Nine Mornings would have evolved and revolved, developing as it goes ‘round and round’ with street concerts in almost every community, featuring ah wide range of activities: music (steel band and bum drums), drama, Christmas lighting, fun games, local foods etc.

We are proud of our name brand labelled: “Unique Vincentian Festival” . It continues to develop Unformatted, Uninhibited and Unlimited, very much ah Free Style Experience. Recently de Festival has extended beyond de early morning Street Concerts to ah new initiative, Nine Nights- Ah Festival of Lights at de Botanic Gardens. Lie-Za thinks dat de Nine Nights is ah fantastic display of natural plants, flowers and lights, spruced up with Cultural performances by local Artistes.

AH NINE MORNINGS MUSEUM

And dis year deys yet another innovation to de Festival. Lie-Za was telling me during de day-time, dey will be ah temporary Art Exhibition and Educational Project entitled “ the Nine Mornings Museum (so named because it will coincide with the Vincentian pre-Christmas festival), from Wednesday 14th to Friday 23rd December. This will be housed upstairs the C.A.G. Complex opposite de Post Office in Kingstown.

Nine Mornings Museum will have three components (i) “ Eye & Eye, an exhibition of photographs by St. Vincent-based photographer Nadia Huggins, and paintings by Brooklyn-based, Vincentian artist Samuel Thom, featuring common and disparate landscapes, textures, colours and points of view.

(ii) A billboard/banner of internationally renowned Vincentian-American artist, Fred Wilson’s Untitled (Flag), 2009, which recasts the graphic elements of the Vincentian flag as an abstract geometric painting open to a multitude of meanings; and (iii) Free daily programmes throughout the duration of the project including public conversations with the artists, lectures, art making workshops, and a concert with local instrumentalists Organic Natural Energy.”

Other local Artistes are expected to participate. Dis event is being hosted under de auspices of an emerging non-profit organization Pana Projects, founded in Puerto Rico by Doctors Akili and Amanda Thom. Dr Akili is of Vincentian parents (Samuel Thom and Gladys Richardson Thom), and Amanda Thom. Dr Akili is a curator of modern and contemporary art and says dat he is proud to be of Vincentian heritage, and is eager to deliver a unique and edifying experience of contemporary art to the people of his family’s homeland.

Lie-Za say ley COVID rest-up. She happy foh we “Nine Mornings,” we “Nine Nights ah Lights” and we “Nine Mornings Museum.”All day she singing C.P’s “ we Outside Again” and Lennox Bowman’s “Vincy Christmas”, boasting say we might not be de biggest, but we are de Best.

And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.