Sugar Mas Carnival 2016
If the freezing cold and short dark days are getting to you and you’d like to get away for some much needed winter sunshine this Christmas or New Year, you might want to consider jetting off to the beautiful islands of St Kitts and Nevis. Christmas time is special all over the Caribbean, but no other island group celebrates it in quite so much style as St Kitts and Nevis and that’s because its Carnival time! The Sugar Mas Carnival is an almost two-month long celebration of colour, music and dance and these tiny Caribbean islands certainly know how to put on a party!
Named after the sugar cane (once the most important resource of the islands pre-tourism) and mas -short for masquerade, the Sugar Mas Carnival takes place between the 18th November 2016 and 8th January 2017 this year, with the main celebrations occurring in the St Kitts capital of Basseterre. The biggest event in the St Kitts and Nevis calendar, carnival time is one massive celebration and everyone gets involved. Streets become a spectrum of colour as various processions and parades bring music and dancing to their every corner and the sounds of soca and calypso can be heard at every turn.
Carnival has its traditions of course and this one wouldn’t be complete without certain events and costumes. The parade of clowns in their baggy trousers and head dresses and the famous “Moko-Jumbies” who dance on a pair of high stilts are legendary whilst the j-ouvert parades play host to countless dance troupes from all over the islands, each one dressed in their own special colours and performing the most frenzied of dances. The carnival competitions are the highlight for many, from the Miss Caribbean Talented Teen Pageant through to the Junior Calypso Show and the National Carnival Queen Pageant and entrants will have spent the entire year preparing for their moment of glory. The calypso contest is hotly contested with the wit of words equally as important as the music and the winners of this competition always go on to become big stars of the entire West Indies, such importance it holds.
Carnival takes a break on 25th December when locals and visitors take time to celebrate Christmas and the joyful sounds of various church services can be heard around the islands. Traditional lights and music create the perfect scene and everyone hits the beach in the afternoon to celebrate Christmas in true Caribbean style.
At New Year the carnival celebrations really hot up and the Grand Parade sees the entire cast of the Sugar Mas Carnival hit the streets of Basseterre. A pageantry of colour and music fills the air with huge floats carrying steel, brass and string bands all vying with each other to be the loudest. The streets fill up with people dancing and the party is truly spectacular. St Kitts and Nevis certainly know how to put on one hell of a party and celebrate Christmas and the New Year in absolute style.
Why not head off to the Caribbean islands of St Kitts and Nevis this holiday season and celebrate in style at the Sugar Mas Carnival. It’s the Christmas and New Year party to beat all parties that’s for sure.
Book your flight and hotel to St Kitts and Nevis today with SN Travel and you’ll be shaking your booty to the calypso beats before you know it!