There will be a major difference in the celebration of Emancipation Day this year.
On Thursday, August 1, 2013, the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) will collaborate with the Monchy La Rose Group and other La Rose Groups from around the island to celebrate our development as a free people with the launch of a month of activities highlighting Saint Lucia’s indigenous La Rose Flower Festival.
The objective is to stimulate greater awareness and appreciation of the contribution of La Rose and other traditions to the shaping of the unique cultural identity of Saint Lucians.
This special Emancipation Day launch of the 2013 La Rose celebrations will take place in the community of Monchy from 3 pm to 9 pm. Activities for the day will include special presentation of the colourful pageantry and entertaining musical theatrics of various La Rose groups.
CDF Marketing Officer Jimmy Clavier said the coupling of the two cultural staples, Emancipation and the launch of La Rose, observances in August, will make for a day of rich cultural entertainment and depictions on Thursday, August 1.
“It’s not going to be like a Fete La Rose per se. What you see on August 30th, what it is geared towards is the actual displaying of different components that exists within the La Rose festival. So you will have drilling, which is something we tend to miss out, because in the La Rose there is royalty, there is the police, the army, there are nurses so you are going to have these different segments being displayed.,” Clavier explained.
The remainder of the day will be punctuated with cultural performances, exhibitions, traditional dancing, La Rose Group presentations, crafts, information booths and the solo traditions with the ever popular Secret Band.
The launch activity will kick off a month of celebratory and public awareness activities around the island. The various La Rose groups and La Rose communities will present a variety of events for the month of August ranging from community séances, community exchanges and fundraising dances.
The CDF will host two zonal séances, and a number of media-related activities. The month will climax with the Grande Fet La Rose on Friday, August 30 in the town of Vieux Fort.
Special Emancipation Day activities will also be held in the south of the island in the districts of Vieux Fort and Laborie.
About Emancipation Day
This holiday commemorates the abolition of slavery, August 1,1834, in the West Indies.
Even though slavery was abolished, all former slaves had to serve a four year “apprenticeship” which forced them to work for free for their former masters for at least three-quarters of the work week. They achieved full freedom in 1838.