ARTS & CULTURE, LIFESTYLE, ST KITTS & NEVIS, TRAVEL

Christmas in the Caribbean

01/10/2018

 

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. The winter holidays are looming and thinking about plans and presents are triggering Brexit-level headaches. You could embrace the cold and wet of Europe. Or you could escape. To a Carnival. In the Caribbean.

The National Carnival is the biggest event in St Kitts and Nevis, attracting curious guests from around the world. It is also known as Sugar Mas (short for Masquerade) and spreads across two months in the winter. This year, the Carnival starts on November 16th and continues through to January 5th.

St Kitts and Nevis – located to the east of the Caribbean Sea – has its African heritage rooted in Trinidad, whose musical influences are paid tribute to during Sugar Mas. We are, of course, talking about calypso – a form of satirical music meant to represent the voice of the people in relation to their government. This year sees St Kitts and Nevis hosting one of the most competitive calypso contests in the West Indies, with the finale planned for the end of December. Besides regional popularity, the winner is “crowned” as the Calyposo Monarch by the Prime Minister himself.
As for some Christmas cheer, you’ll be pleased to learn that the St Kitts and Nevis Carnival is said to be the only Caribbean celebration to perfectly combine its African cultural ancestry with the spirit of the winter holidays. Swap the Christmas tree for decorated sand castles, ditch your winter jumpers, put on your bathing suit and get ready to party on the beach with the welcoming locals and laid-back tourists. Say goodbye to mulled wine and instead try out some (proper) rum cocktails, served in all the shapes, sizes and colours you can possibly imagine. Set the tone for 2019 with the Grand Parade – an explosion of colour, music and dance on the hot streets of Basseterre. Expect the usual suspects – dancers shaking their bright feathers, Moko-Jumbies twirling on their stilts, clowns, masquerade troupes and folklore bands marching on, much to the delight of those standing by.

As reality returns you’re faced with the challenge of committing to another New Year’s resolution. One that matters to both you and your family is your future safety and security. In 1984, St Kitts and Nevis realised how much they had to offer and introduced to the world the concept of citizenship by investment (CBI). Since then, the nation has earned a reputation for being the Platinum Standard for gaining second citizenship among investors worldwide. One reason – aside from calling this colourful nation home – are the visa-free travelling opportunities to over 150 countries and territories with a St Kitts and Nevis passport. It could just be that Christmas gift that keeps on giving!