Saint Lucia Celebrates National Day!
According to the UK Telegraph, Saint Lucia is the only country in the world named after an historical woman, although other sources claim Ireland or 'Eire', comes from the Celtic goddess of fertility.
Every year on December 13th, the island - and we at Marigot Bay Resort and Marina - celebrate the origins of its name on the feast day of St. Lucy known in Latin as Sancta Lucia.
Originally named Iyanola (Land of Iguanas) by the peaceful Amerindians who arrived between 200 and 400AD, the island was taken over around 800AD by the less peaceful Caribs who translated it to their own version Hewanorra.
Given its third name by the French in the seventeenth century, modern day Saint Lucia continues to celebrate the Feast of St. Lucy of Syracuse who lived from AD 283 – 304. The monks who first brought Christianity to Sweden told the story of a young Christian girl who was martyred for her faith, and Scandinavian countries still widely celebrate St. Lucy's Day.
In Saint Lucia, the celebration of the saint whose name can mean "light" or "lucid", starts several weeks before December 12 with the creation of handmade lanterns by communities across the island for the annual Festival of Lights held on Sir Derek Walcott Square in the capital, Castries.
This decades-old tradition officially kicks off the festive season as Saint Lucia's creative children and adults work for weeks on their designs, which are lit up and paraded through the darkened streets to be admired by the public and judged for prizes by the experts.
From reproduced local buildings to gaudy tropical fish and even subtle social statements, the National Day Lantern Competition produces amazing artistry and exquisite attention to detail. This year the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) dispatched a cadre of artists to assist and mentor schools across the island, so we can expect another exciting seasonal spectacle on December 12.
A National Day first is scheduled for Friday, December 13 with the first public racing event at the brand new Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club. The island's latest innovation in tourism development will open its turnstyles to the public for a series of races, including the inaugural Pitons Cup, followed by a free concert featuring an exciting line-up of local acts supporting reggae legend and headliner Jah Cure.
The eyes of the thoroughbred racing world will turn to Saint Lucia for a race day of international appeal so to celebrate Marigot Bay Resort and Marina is offering our guests a very special package to celebrate the opening of Saint Lucia's first professional horse-racing fixture, so visit our website for more information.