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Moko-Jumbie fever


The St. Kitts carnival is special in many ways, not the least for the time of year this event takes place! The festivities start on Boxing Day and lasts until the New Year arrives. Like elsewhere in the Caribbean, this carnival comes with a sensational display of colors, a feast of rhythms, song, dance, drama, poetry and music. From Gospel choirs to masquerades, carnival on St. Kitts is a display of the country’s multicultural identity. more...


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The Caribbean offer a fantastic escape from the cold and snow but forces customary Christmas festivities somewhat to the background. This doesn’t mean that you have to forget about tradition or even religious celebration while on vacation in the Caribbean.

The St. Kitts carnival is special in many ways, not the least for the time of year this event takes place! The festivities start on Boxing Day and lasts until the New Year arrives. Like elsewhere in the Caribbean, this carnival comes with a sensational display of colors, a feast of rhythms, song, dance, drama, poetry and music. From Gospel choirs to masquerades, carnival on St. Kitts is a display of the country’s multicultural identity.

Look out for the world-renowned Stilt walkers or ‘Moko-Jumbies’. Although it is not exactly clear what the name Moko-Jumbies means, we do know that this ritual stems from ancient African mythology, particularly from the Ghana region, where the ‘Moko’ is responsible for looking after his village, a task made possible by his incredible height and supernatural abilities. He is able to predict all kinds of danger and to protect his people from evil. This naturally made the Moko a very important member of his tribe.

The Moko Jumbies tradition was brought to the Caribbean during the colonial period through the performances of African slaves. The dance of the Moko Jumbies and story of the Moko were adapted to their new environment. These days the story goes that the Moko walked across the ocean to the Caribbean islands and, despite the hardships of slavery, retained his pride and ability to protect his people.

The dancers are dressed in long gowns and dance on stilts that are often taller than 2 meters (7 feet). Everyone is in agreement that witnessing these fearless dancers perform is something absolutely amazing.

Other highlights of the carnival are the performance of the ‘famous clowns’, a tradition that goes back to the 17th century, the exuberant masquerade with dancers in colorful costumes complemented by feathered headdresses and a comic play called ‘the bull’, a rendition of a regional Christmas story from the early 19th century.

The St. Kitts Carnival makes the island one of the most exciting Caribbean destinations for spending Christmas and New Years. The stellar beaches, gorgeous tropical weather and delicious food complement the carnival celebrations, or is it supposed to be the other way around?

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