Nine Mornings swinging
Local Vibes
December 23, 2004
Nine Mornings swinging

Nine Mornings celebrations across the country opened on the 16 December at venues throughout the nation to the delight of the young, not-so-old and older persons. The revived Nine Mornings festival has turned out to be a major attraction for many returning Vincentians and other persons from various parts of the world.{{more}}

This unique Vincentian festival, the origin of which is still disputed, has become a major part of the country’s tourism calendar. In fact ministry of tourism officials say that income spikes during this time of year, from Nine Mornings and related Christmas activities.

This year has seen celebrations in Barrouallie, Park Hill, New Grounds, Stubbs, Rose Hall, Petit Bordel, Fancy, Owia, Sandy Bay, Diamond Village, Bridgetown, Questelles, Calliaqua, Georgetown, Campden Park, Lauders, Greggs, Carriere, Coull’s Hill, Simon, Richland Park, Cane End, Troumaca, Spring Village, Vermont, Penniston, Belair, Villa, Arnos Vale, Sion Hill and Kingstown on the mainland and at Port Elizabeth and Friendship, Bequia in the Grenadines.

A lot of these activities have been now linked to the Light Up Competition that has brought a new spirit of friendly rivalry among the communities. Most of the communities began turning on their gaily decorated lighting formations to coincide with the actual Nine Mornings official start date of December 16 while others chose to hold back until this week for maximum impact. The recent outcry about the cost of electricity does not seem to have deterred the communities or individual homes, which are also judged as part of the National Light Up Competition.

Groups such as the Rotary Club and the Amateur Athletics Association have also got into the act, the former lighting up a triangular area at Villa once more this year, while there are fun walks and walking races which begin at 4 a.m. organised by the athletics grouping. This attempts to formalise a once integral part of Nine Mornings of old, which saw many persons talking walks or going sea bathing.

During the period, a notable and growing feature are the carolling competitions. Two have already been held, first staged by NBC Radio at the venue that gave birth to this trend – the Grammar School Roundabout and by the police force which was held on Wednesday night of last week.

The Chapman’s New Testament Church held theirs at the North Union Secondary School on December 10 while the School’s Contest was held on the 15th at the Victoria Park. The largest carolling contest, based on past responses is the National Carolling Contest, which was expected to be held last night.

The more toned down traditional style Community Carol singing was held on Sunday night last.