December 16, 2005
‘Don’t wait till 25th to enjoy Christmas’

Last year, Lennox Bowman, a versatile composer produced another of his hits. He reminded listeners that they shouldn’t wait till the 25th to enjoy Christmas.

Bowman promoted one month of celebration, including the Nine Days before Christmas. Nine Mornings is a Vincentian tradition where the population awakes in the early hours and engages in different forms of activity.{{more}}

The event has become so entrenched in the society that it is part of the National calendar and has established itself as a tourism attraction.

Persons throughout the world have become aware of the unique cultural tradition, and descend on the multi-island Caribbean State to be part of the exercise.

This year is expected to be no different, and in addition to spontaneous activities which crop up as part of the celebration, several organised events are on the cards.

Coordinator of the Nine Mornings activities, Michael Peters is pleased with the build up to this year’s programme.

Peters anticipates the action will explode from Friday, December 16, when activities on Bay Street in Capital City Kingstown begin. Those activities will only be one part of a larger national programme, in which there is a lot at stake.

In the first place, there is the prestigious Best Nine Morning Community award. So far 30 communities are lined up to challenge last year’s winner New Grounds for that title.

Peters noted a reduction in the number of communities taking part, but he anticipated that the figure would rise. He cited preoccupation with the election campaign as one reason for the small number of communities showing interest in the Lighting up activities.

There is also the Best Lit Garden, Best Lit Private House, and Best Lit Commercial Building. However, the best Nine Morning Song category has generated tremendous interest, and artistes have been responding overwhelmingly to this aspect.

December 24 will be the day when the winners of the different segments will be rewarded.

Peters brushed aside suggestions of “victimisation” coming into the Nine Mornings celebrations.

Peters was “not aware” of any efforts to hurt anyone during the celebrations. He indicated that the Nine Mornings Committee was devoted to “promoting peace and love.”

he concluded that projections along those lines might have been a “hang over from the political campaign.”

This year’s activities have some business input through the Eastern Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC). They will be providing prizes for persons taking part in “Fun games” during the celebrations.

This year’s activities will be observed under the theme: ‘Celebrating a Unique Vincentian Tradition.’

The event kicked off last Sunday with the lighting up of the tree on the Reigate Compound just north of Heritage Square in Kingstown.

A number of performers graced the stage and gave a demonstration of their ability as the count down to the 2005 event intensifies.

Peters praised the performances of groups like Eternity, KLG Dancers, and former calypso monarch Carlton ‘CP’ Hall.

They did their stuff on stage last Sunday evening after a candle light march around the city.

Peters described the response to that event as “great” and noted that there was an “excellent turnout,” and dubbed it “the best ever.”

There were also addresses from the Culture Minister Rene Baptiste, Deputy Prime Minister, Louis Straker as well as an appearance by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.