Let Her Inspire You

Jounen Kwéyòl

Let Her Inspire You

Jounen Kwéyòl

Jounen Kwéyòl, also known as “Creole Day,” is a special time on the island of Saint Lucia. Observed on the last Sunday in October, this day celebrates the French/African dialect widely spoken in Saint Lucia. A unique mix of creole (Kwéyòl) food, music, games and folklore give this festival a wholly unique flavor, unlike anything else in the Caribbean.

Jounen Kwéyòl Festivities

The celebrations are held in four chosen communities each year, with perennial locales including Mon Repos and Dennery. During this time, tambos 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 Colorful Outfits of Jounen Kwéyòl

The Wob Dwiyet is a traditional dress that is worn by women throughout the Caribbean to celebrate cultural holidays. These outfits are typically made with a fitted corselette, long sleeves, and a flared skirt using a material called Madras, or madwas.

These dresses are usually worn over an ankle length white cotton petticoat trimmed with red satin ribbon. Wearing all those layers in the Saint Lucia sun can be a bit much, so most women just wear dresses made from the Madras material.

Experience Traditional Kwéyòl Dishes

One of the main attractions of Jounen Kwéyòl is, of course, the food. Although it’s called creole, the cuisine of Saint Lucia isn’t quite the same as that of other Caribbean islands with “creole” cuisines. French influence can be found in all of these foods, but local ingredients, preparations, and cooking techniques separate Saint Lucian food traditions from other islands.

The country’s national dish is green figs and saltfish, made with unripe bananas and preserved fish. Seafood is obviously a staple of Saint Lucian Creole food, as are various kinds of bananas and plantains. Another local favorite, known as a bake, is a delicious fried dough that goes well with just about anything.

The Music, Dance, and Folklore of Saint Lucia

The stories, dancing, and music of Saint Lucia reflect the multitude of different people and ethnic groups who have settled here. They are an eclectic blend that represents Saint Lucia’s unique heritage of Caribbean, African, and European cultures. These influences come together to form traditions that, while similar to those in other creole cultures, can only be found in Saint Lucia.