Editorial
December 9, 2022
Nine Mornings – No richer appetizer to the Vincentian Christmas

It started since last month with Christmas music being played on the radio stations, but officially the 2022 Christmas season kicked off with the launch of the popular “Nine Mornings” festival last Sunday evening at the temporarily renamed “Christmas Village” at Heritage Square.

Though given the “Nine Mornings” sobriquet, in fact the celebrations are much more all-encompassing, not just concentrated in capital city Kingstown, but spreading to rural communities, the lighting up of business places, homes and entire villages, all upholding and building the traditions of Vincy Christmas.

The unique nature of the “Nine Mornings” festival helps to further enhance the value of the entire Christmas season making the Vincentian experience a special one indeed. Over the years, the nature of “Nine Mornings” has evolved but the organizers have valiantly tried to keep the essence while adding variety and creativity.

Even after all these years, Nine Mornings still attracts Vincentians living overseas to their home base, along with visitors as well. That ‘return to base’ is itself a tradition started by mainly Vincies based in Trinidad during the sixties and seventies. Then, prominent among the “returnees” were the “boys from the Regiment”, Vincentian servicemen in the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment, who had served previously in the Jamaica-based West India Regiment set up as part of the ill-fated West Indian Federation.

With the exodus of many young Vincentians to the USA in the seventies, the mainly New York-based Vincies led the way in the seventies continuing the tradition set by the T&T contingent a decade earlier. It was both another affirmation of the strong cultural links to the homeland as well as a recognition of the cultural and social value of not just Nine Mornings but also Vincy Christmas. There could be no richer appetizer to the Vincentian Christmas than Nine Mornings.

After a relapse of sorts, the Festival has been revived, growing from strength to strength. In addition, the economic potential of the Festival is being recognized though so great is the potential that we are still only scratching the surface. Tourism officials here and persons in the tourism industry have a challenge to begin to unleash and develop the obvious potential as a foreign exchange earner.

For all these reasons, it is important to spread the net of participation as wide as possible. Crucially, our business firms need to play a bigger role, both the large city-based businesses as well as the many enterprises in rural communities. It can only redound to the benefit of all.