Culture | Martinique – Heritage Days
14 – 15 September 2013
A celebration of island culture, Martinique’s Heritage Days festival is held over two days in September, in Fort-de-France. During this annual celebration, museums and monuments throughout the city host a variety of special exhibitions, offering free admission to the public. Additionally, there is a free concert and other events celebrating Martinique’s rich culture and vibrant traditions. This year’s celebrations are entitled ‘1913 – 2013, one hundred years of protection’; the island is often referred to as the ‘Isle of Flowers’ and has a rich biodiversity and heritage of environmentalism which is celebrated throughout the island.
History | St Lucia – Creole Heritage Month
During the St Lucia Creole Heritage Month there are a number of events and festivals happening around the island. In St Lucia there are two rival flower societies: La Rose and Les Marguerite who hold their festivals on the 30th of August and the 17th of October Respectively. At the festivals, members of the society participating parade the streets of St Lucia dressed as kings, queens, princes, princesses, doctors, nurses and policemen. The festivals are a culmination of weekly meetings where female leaders compose songs and dances to praise the society, whilst jokingly putting down their rivals. This good natured ribaldry is a fun event for visitors to watch and take part in, with jazz and traditional instruments.
Music | Aruba – Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival
4 – 5 October 2013
First held in August 2007, the popularity of the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival has soared since its inception. This two day event will this year be held on the 4th and 5th of October 2013 on the small island of Aruba, where it has become somewhat of a success story for both native Arubans and visitors alike. Initially inspired by a number of other such festivals like the North Sea Jazz Festival (The Netherlands) and Saint Lucia Jazz, Caribbean Sea Jazz’s goal is to create a stage for local and regional music talent, showcasing them alongside big names in the Jazz world. Running on a small budget, this wonderful event is not just about music, but also exhibits the best of the Aruban community.
Culture | The Bahamas – Annual International Cultural Festival
19 – 20 October 2013
This year will mark the 18th year of the Annual International Cultural Festival, an important event that is held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Bahamas. This year it will be held on the 19th and 20th of October 2013, from 10am to 6pm at the Botanical Gardens in Nassau. Aimed to celebrate the friendly relations and understandings between native Bahamians and the international resident community, this high quality event demonstrates the diversity and cosmopolitanism of The Bahamas. Since its reinstatement in 2009, the Festival has arguably proved to become one of the most popular festivals in The Bahamas, with new features, booths and stage presentations being added each year. With fun activities for all ages, this is a festival worth visiting whilst staying in this beautiful region of the Caribbean.
Music | Puerto Rico – Tango Festival
24 – 28 October 2013
Coming back for a third time, the Puerto Rico Tango Festival or ‘Tango del Encanto’, is the first international tango festival to be offered in Puerto Rico. Running from the 24th to the 28th of October 2013, the festival promises a range of exciting events and workshops over the four day period. Bringing in a number of high profile tango maestros from around the world, the festival includes dances held in a number of Puerto Rico’s cultural attractions and historic locations, such as San Juan. As well as participation dances, there will be showcases of dancers and live music during the day for those that simply wish to sit back and enjoy the spectacular dance form that is Tango.
Music | Dominica – World Creole Music Festival
25 – 27 October 2013
The World Creole Music Festival held annually in Dominica is this year being held from the 25th to the 27th of October 2013, and is strongly rooted in Dominica’s Independence celebrations. Over the three day event, music from around the Creole-speaking world is showcased, celebrating the mixed heritage and multiple influences that these genres share. These little-known music forms include Cadence-lypso, Kompas, Zouk, Soukous, Bouyon and Zydeco, to name a few, and are all highly important attributes to the musical festival as a whole. A festival that dominates the whole island, it is advised to book accommodation in advance, so as not to miss out on any of the activities.
Music & Film | Jamaica – Stir It Up Film & Music Festival
This year the Stir It Up Film & Music Festival will be held towards the end of November in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica. A showcase of some of the best work coming from film and music industry professionals from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, the festival offers performances, screenings and workshops. Additionally there are conferences on film and music, as well as other topics relating to Caribbean culture and world music. This is a great opportunity for emerging musicians and film-makers who have been selected by online voters and industry experts. This event offers fantastic exposure to contemporary Caribbean culture, and this local festival gives a wonderful insights into the Jamaican arts scene.
Design | Dominican Republic – Interior Design Show
7 – 10 November 2013
Purporting to be one of the first interior design fairs of international standards to be held not only in the Dominican Republic but also in the whole of the Caribbean, this year’s Interior Design Show Dominican Republic looks to be even bigger and better than last year. Running from the 7th to the 10th of November 2013, this annual event gathers and presents the best artists and latest trends in interior design and decoration, both native to the Dominican Republic as well as internationally. Stretching across a multitude of design disciplines from interiors and architecture as well as showcasing manufacturers and suppliers.
Culture | The Cayman Islands – Pirates Week
7 – 17 November 2013
Running from the 7th to the 17th of November 2013, Pirates Week Festival is the only major pirate festival held in the Caribbean proper. This eleven day event is filled with music, street dances, food, parades, sports, heritage events and of course treasure hunts and costume competitions. There is even a ‘surprise’ mock pirate invasion at the George Town harbour; on the first Saturday of the festival, two old fashioned sailing vessels laden with pirates invade the harbour and capture the Governor. This spectacle is watched by thousands, with a new twist occurring each year. A family friendly and highly enjoyable festival, this is certainly one not to miss.
Food | Barbados – Food & Wine and Rum Festival
21 – 25 November 2013
November is a busy month in Barbados, not only is it the month in which they celebrate their independence, but it also holds the annual Food & Wine and Rum Festival, this year from the 21st to the 25th of November, 2013. With a number of events including live cooking demos with a number of renowned chefs, Rum cocktail seminars and even fiestas and cruises, this is certainly an occasion not to miss in Barbados. There are wine experts on hand to offer suggestions for food and wine pairings and to introduce event goers to the subtle characteristics unique to each wine, and of course what with Barbados being the birthplace of rum, the local spirit flows in abundance and is at the centre of much of the celebrations.
By Sophie Finney