bequia




SPECIAL EVENTS 
Nine Mornings Festival
Christmas and New Year
Sunshine School Auction
Bequia Music Fest
& Mustique Blues Festival
Bequia Easter Regatta
Bequia Carnival
Bequia Basketball
Bequia Fisherman's Day
Public Holidays

 

DECEMBER
Nine Mornings
 
  The unique Vincentian cultural tradition of "Nine Mornings" is enthusiastically celebrated in Bequia. For the nine nights before Christmas, music, singing and revels takes place up and down the island in an exuberant countdown to Christmas. 

  The precise origins of the custom are unknown, although it is believed to have developed in St. Vincent after emancipation, (and in its present form in the late 19th /early 20th century) as a fusion of multicultural forms of celebration - such as music, drums and dance - with the Christian festival of Christmas, and later, in association with the early morning Christmas Novenas, formerly celebrated at midday by the Catholic church. 

  Nine days before Christmas musical activities and carols often take place under the Almond Tree - sometimes starting at 4am in the morning - to the surprise and delight of many visitors longing for a good carol or two! 

  So don't be surprised if you hear songs and reveling into the wee hours in Christmas week; its all part of Christmas on Bequia!

  Bequians take their carolling very seriously. Shortly before Christmas groups representing the islands villages and communities compete in an evening carol competition attended by most of the island and its visitors.


Christmas and New Year
 
  The only thing that is missing from Christmas on Bequia is snow! The Christmas spirit is the same on the island as anywhere in the world - good will and season's greetings abound, families and friends get together, and shops are full of unusual gifts and delicious treats. Midnight services on Christmas Eve at both the Anglican church in Port Elizabeth and the tiny Catholic Church in Hamilton welcome all worshippers. 

  On Christmas Day, as on Christmas Eve, hotels and restaurants offer traditional Christmas fare with all the familiar trimmings - with that extra West Indian flair. 

  New Year's Eve in St. Vincent & the Grenadines is more commonly, (and quite sensibly!) known as Old Year's Night, and Bequia really knows how to "ring out the old and ring in the new"! The harbour fills with visiting yachts, and ashore there are celebrations in every restaurant and bar - all the stops are pulled out for this one special night of the year. A spectacular firework display over Bequia Harbour is the highlight of the evening. Made possible by the generosity of private individuals and Bequia's business community, it's a climax to the holiday celbrations that no one will want to miss.

  Midnight is accompanied by a sky lit up with fireworks and flares, popping corks and warm embraces - and then the partying really begins!

new
                          years eve

Happy New Year!

Bequia Fireworks

Bequia's Admiralty Bay at midnight

JANUARY 2015

12th Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest 2015, January 22rd - 25th
& Mustique Blues Festival in Bequia
(January 23rd)

Homepage of the Bequia Music Fest 2014/15
 

Arturo Tappin Bequia Music Fest
Arturo Tappin

De
                        Reef Bequia Music FestDe Reef is jumping!

NexcyxMahalia - NEXCYX


Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest
Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest on
                          Facebook

  The Bequia Tourism Association, (in conjunction with the St. Vincent Department of Tourism & Basil's Bar), is the organising body responsible for bringing the world-famous Mustique Blues Festival to Bequia for one glorious evening in January. 

  The Blues Festival began in Mustique in 1996 as the brainchild of Basil Charles (known to everyone on Mustique simply as "Basil"), and London's Lady of the Blues, Dana Gillespie. 

  In the ensuing years the Blues Festival has become a must for everyone visiting St. Vincent & the Grenadines in late January and early February. Most of the performances are held at Basil's Bar in Mustique, but Bequia hosts one Friday night performance - and a real party atmosphere pervades the venue when it's Bequia's turn to put on the show!
 
   The line-up varies from year to year, with Dana Gillespie gathering around her a host of thrillingly talented musicians on guitar, piano, sax, drums and harmonica. Recordings are made of each year's performances and the resulting CDs sold to benefit the Basil Charles Foundation, which sponsors many Vincentian children through their secondary education. 


Thursday, January 22nd
Frangipani Hotel, from 8.30pm:

Steel Pan Celebration -
13 piece Elite Steel Pan Orchestra


Friday, January 23rd, De Reef Lower Bay, 8.30pm:
From Europe & USA:
Mustique Blues Festival in Bequia:
Dana Gillespie & "The London Blues Band"


Saturday, January 24th,
Bequia Beach Hotel, Friendship Beach 1pm

Live Afternoon Jam by the beach


Saturday, January 25th
, De Reef Lower Bay, 8.30pm
Bequia's Big Night - Caribbean Clash

Please check back for final line-up!


Sunday, January 25th, 12.30pm,
De Reef Lower Bay

Reggae, Rock & Blues on the Beach

Please check back for final 2014 line-up!

FEBRUARY 

Sunshine School Auction, mid February
at Gingerbread Restaurant

  The Bequia Sunshine School for Children with Special Needs, now in its 31st year of operation, holds its annual Sunday fund-raising auction in mid-February. This very special school is a privately funded educational institution administered primarily by a local board of directors. Currently the government pays the salary of one teacher only; all other costs have to be raised by private donation and fundraisers - thus the need for funds is constant. 

  The benefits of the school to Bequia's children with special needs are huge, and vitally important to their development as individuals. Currently the school caters for 30 children attending daily classes; their progress in all aspects of learning and skill training is extraordinary - due in no small part to the dedication of the teachers.

  The annual auction is now in its sixteenth year and is fast becoming one of the most fun events of the season. Items for the auction, and for the Jumble Sale which follows later in March, are all donated by well-wishers and energetically amassed and sorted by the auction organisers in the weeks before.

   There could be literally anything up for sale - jewellery, antique prints, art work, clothing, furniture, household items, marine items, donated dinners and services and handicrafts made by the students at the school are all likely to be on offer. 

  EC$30,000 is enough to cover the running costs of the school for four months, and this is the target that is aimed for each year.  

   To find out more about Bequia Sunshine School contact principal
Mrs. Camille Jacobs (Tel: 784 457 3794)
email sunshine@vincysurf.com
or visit www.bequiasunshineschool.org 

April 2015

Bequia Easter Regatta  (April 2nd - April 6th, 2015)

To go directly to the online pre-registration form click
HERE


See the Bequia Easter Regatta 2014 Slideshow

  For as long as any one can remember, there has always been a Bequia Regatta. Formerly at Whitsun, now for the last 30 years held at Easter, Bequia's Regatta is rightly famous for its unique blend of local boat racing, yacht racing shoreside activities and Bequia hospitality. 

  A fleet of more than thirty traditional local boats from Bequia and her neighbouring islands, some no more than 12 feet long, others a majestic (by comparison) 28 feet in length and capable of extraordinary speed and agility, compete out on the sparkling waters around Bequia.
And on the same waters, another fifty or more yachts compete in five CSA-officiated Classes every one racing with the same verve and determination, striving to achieve that perfect harmony of boat, wind and sail. 

  It's a fabulous, colourful weekend, full of fun and camaraderie, skill and tradition, with the whole island caught up in regatta fever. Sunday's Regatta Lay Day on Lower Bay beach sees a grand fete for boatloads of visitors from the mainland, while Friendship Bay Beach hosts a family Layday with Sandcastle and Crazy Craft competitions, and easter activities organised by regatta sponsors Bequia Beach Hotel.


beach coconut boats
                          regatta

  The hard working volunteer members of the Bequia Sailing Club are responsible for putting on this high profile event every year, and the event is internationally renowned as the largest regatta in the region, the unique traditional local boat racing, and the well run, challenging yacht races which include the J24 Southern Caribbean Championship.
The island is almost full to bursting for the Easter period, and the harbour is packed with yachts. People come from all over the world just to be in Bequia for regatta, and none are ever disappointed. The island puts on its best and brightest show, and everyone just loves it! 

Bequia Sailing Club
Contact:
Tel: (784) 457 3649
bsc@vincysurf.com
www.begos.com/easterregatta


Easter Regatta 2015 Schedule
April
2nd - April 6th:
Thurs:
Yacht Registration, Skippers Briefing
Friday: Yacht Races, Double-ender registration
Saturday:
Double-ender & Yacht Races
Easter Sunday:  Layday, S/H Yacht Race, Double-ender Races
Monday: 
Final day of Races, Grand Prizegiving

Bequia Heineken Easter Regatta

J24 Bequia Heineken Easter Regatta
 
Bequia Easter Regatta

 
JUNE
Bequia Carnival
 
Bequia Carnival   Bequia Carnival takes places at the end of June, and is a delightfully informal and spontaneous affair.

  With St. Vincent's "Vincy Mas" now the nation's premier tourism event, Bequia's own Carnival looks set to move forward as well and become a true small island carnival and a permanent fixture in the island's cultural calendar.

JULY 
Fisherman's Day
  If Bequia Regatta is a celebration of Bequia's traditions of boat-building and seamanship, Bequia's Fisherman's Day (held on the first Saturday after Vincy Mas) is a lively and fiercely contested demonstration of the island's abundant skills at harvesting the waters that surround the island. 

  Once again the Rotary Club of Bequia are the organizers, with the famous "Rotary Wives" doing a fine job in cooking up the catches and providing delicious fresher-than-fresh barbecue and baked fish lunches, complete with rice'n'peas, dasheen, yams, plantains, green bananas, coucou, breadfruit and coleslaw.

Rotary Club
                        Fishermans's Day

  The competition begins at first light, and all catches have to be in by early afternoon. Not surprisingly, it's the biggest catch by weight that wins, but there are various categories for the different types of fishing - trolling, bottom line deep water, bottom line inshore, etc. Plus of course a special prize for that all important Biggest Single Fish! 

  Spectators also get an all too rare chance to buy as much fresh fish as they want, straight off the dock and those in the know come prepared with bags to carry their purchases away! 

Bequia
                      Rotary Club Fisherman's Day

Bequia Basketball
Bequia Baskteball
                        Tournament

  PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

March 14: National Heroes Day
 

"Chatoyer the chief of the Black
Charaibes in St. Vincent with his 5 wives"

Late 18th century engraving from
1773 original by Agostino Brunias

 

  2002 was the first year that National Heroes Day was celebrated in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. On this day the country remembers the death of the country's first national hero, Carib Chief Joseph Chatoyer who was killed in 1795 during the second Carib War - a fierce and determined resistance to the British occupation of St. Vincent. 

  After Chatoyer's death, the Caribs continued their defiant fighting for the next year or more, only finally surrendering in late 1796. 

  The British were so determined to rid St. Vincent of all possibility of future Carib resistance that virtually the entire Black Carib population - close to 4500 in number - were shipped to the uninhabited island of Balliceaux off Bequia's north east coast, to await onward transportation to Roatan in the Gulf of Honduras.

  But by March 1797, when transportation from Bequia to Roatan began, it is estimated that nearly half of the Caribs had failed to survive their months of exile on Balliceaux, and still more died on their journey to Roatan.

August 1: Emancipation Day
  On August 1st 1834, the "Act for the Abolition of Slavery in the Island of Saint Vincent and its Dependencies" came into effect. However for the 22,500 slaves in St. Vincent at that time, their life was not noticeably changed. Only slave children under the age of six (officially recorded in 1835 as being 2,959) became free as of that date. 

  The remainder, including about 14,000 attached to estates, were subjected to a further four years of 'apprenticed labour' wherein "such person shall be entitled to the services of such apprenticed labourer as would for the time being have been entitled to his services as a Slave if this Act had not been passed". 

Full emancipation was finally granted to all former slaves on August 1st 1838. 

October 27: Independence Day
St. Vincent & the Grenadines achieved its independence from Great Britain in 1979.
The state remains a part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. 
 

December 25: Christmas Day

December 26: Boxing Day

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