St Vincent and the Grenadines’ unique festival, Nine Mornings will be held under the theme, “Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive” in 2020.
The festival was officially launched on Sunday, at Heritage Square with its usual line up of entertainment from various dance groups, choirs and local artistes.
“It goes without saying that 2020 has been an especially challenging year, negatively affecting all aspects of life and living, resulting in the cancellation of many cultural festivals in SVG, around the region and around the world,” Orande ‘Bomani’ Charles, the chairman of the National Nine Mornings Committee said.
He added that it was through the grace of God and hard work of professionals that afforded for the Nine Mornings festival to officially be launched this year.
Charles said the safety of everyone was central to the Committee’s plans for the 2020 instalment of Nine Mornings.
And he encouraged all persons to continue to observe COVID-19 protocols advanced by the officials in the Ministry of Health.
“During this traditionally joyous time of year, we look forward to the sights and sounds of Christmas, sorrel and ginger beer. Black cake, fruit cake, the various spirits of the season, the smiles of the children, stories of the elders, house cleaning, gift giving and merry making…Nine Mornings will be here for you to enjoy, the most unique Christmas festival on earth,” he said.
Charles also encouraged persons to support the community groups who usually host activities in the communities across the nation.
And he expressed gratitude for the people who continue to contribute meaningfully to the success of Nine Mornings.
The Nine Mornings committee chairman further expressed gratitude to all sponsors and partners of the festival.
These include the National Lotteries Authority, Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sustainable Development and Culture, VINLEC, Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines, FLOW, National Insurance Services, GECCU, Digicel, the Teachers Cooperative Credit Union, Tus-T Water and Subway.
Carlos James, this country’s tourism and culture minister initiated the countdown for Christmas lights to be turned on in Heritage Square and the official start of the season.
This will be James’ first festival since being appointed the tourism and culture minister in November. He said work must be done to enhance the Nine Mornings Festival so that it can be not just unique, but the best festival in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
He noted that at least $400,000 was earmarked for SVG’s unique festival this year and hinted at an even “bigger and better” celebration for 2021.
Like Charles, the minister acknowledged that it has been a difficult year for many, due to the pandemic.
“…It is this year we should really focus a lot more on the cultural components, that recognises God at the centre of our activities in the Nine Mornings Festival,” he said. “Nine Mornings is nothing without God at the centre of it and this year is an example of the challenges we have faced and why we should all be grateful and have gratitude to the almighty God for having us here today…”
He also thanked all persons and entities who continue to make the festival possible, which helps to keep SVG’s unique festival alive.