Madras Madness at Marigot Bay Resort
It's Creole Month in Saint Lucia!
If you just landed in Saint Lucia this October, you may wonder if the island's national colours are - well, every colour in the Caribbean palette, because this is Creole month and the dress code is 'madras'.
Known locally as 'Jounen Kweyol', the last Sunday of every October is International Creole Day as proclaimed by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation and across Saint Lucia the whole month is spent prepping for the big weekend.
Creole people are defined as "ethnic groups which originated during the colonial-era from racial mixing between Europeans, Africans and sometime South Asian and Native American peoples, known as creolisation." In the Caribbean, Creole heritage varies widely in ethnic background and mixture, and many have since developed distinct ethnic identities including languages such as our own local patois which is a blend of French, English and African dialect.
According to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority: "The celebrations are held in four chosen communities each year, with perennial locales including Mon Repos and Dennery. During this time, tambos [drum] rhythms, parades, street festivals, musical events and jump-ups permeate the island and its streets. And in the week leading up to the events, you’ll see Saint Lucians expressing their love of culture by donning traditional Madras wear."
The prevalence of madras fabric in the 21st century celebration of this colorful heritage also reflects the strength of the Indian influence on our history, and its palette of vibrant versions paints every square foot of Saint Lucia in the run up to the event. From traditional national dress called the "wob dwiyet" to the arrival of youthful haute couture Creole fashion, schoolkids and their teachers, civil servants and their bosses, even the vendors at Gros Islet's famous Friday night street party will be rocking their madras rainbow this month.
Food is the centrpiece of the festival, with "old-style" favourites like breadfruit roasted whole on hot coals and served with smoked herring, the national dish of 'saltfish and green fig', and sweet dessert favourites granny used to make, like sweetened cornmeal 'pemme' wrapped and steamed in banana leaves or shaved coconut candies.
Here at Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, we're proud to be an independent Saint Lucian luxury destination and our daily menus feature year round local flavours, so we're also excited to celebrate Jounen Kweyol every year by inviting the public to sample our Creole cuisine and hospitality at a day long family-friendly event on October 26 at the Hurricane Hole.
With prizes for best-Creole-dressed and plenty of traditional entertainment on offer, it's sure to be a fete for the ages, so contact Marigot Bay Resort for more information.