St. Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March, is celebrated worldwide but is only a national holiday in three places. Montserrat, known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, is one of them.
The holiday is celebrated in Montserrat due to historic connections to slavery, linked to a time where an influx of Irish people lived in Montserrat. Essentially, the holiday is in commemoration of the slaves’ bravery, who in 1768 plotted an uprising on St.Patrick’s Day as their slave masters were feasting, drinking and revelling. Though unsuccessful, the date is cemented in Montserrat’s identity and is recognised annually.
Fast forward some 250 years later, the St.Patrick’s Day celebration has seen a major transformation over the years and is now a 10-day festival in honour of the rebellion. There is a calendar of activities rooted in history, culture and entertainment with something for everyone to enjoy.
If you are planning to participate in Montserrat’s St. Partick’s Day festival, here’s a rundown of what you can expect.
FOOD AND DRINKS
This island has lots of great food and beverage outlets. Be sure to try the national dish: goat water.
We highly recommend that you attend the Slave Feast, your taste buds will surely thank you for it! Individuals can indulge in local delights such as saltfish and ducana, cassava bread, sweet treats, and lots of food off the grill and more goat water.
The perfect pairing for all of that scrumptious food is fresh coconut water. If you are more on the daring side, ask at any bar for some Bush Rum.
There’s also a great buzz on the roads as you travel around the island. You may drive past Carr’s Bay and get the chance to indulge in roadside roast corn or fried fish and strike up some friendly conversation.
The people of Montserrat are incredibly friendly, warm and inviting. You’ll be sure to make some new life long friends.
Montserrat is a clean and tranquil place. The island breeze will help you unwind from the hustle and bustle of wherever you may be travelling from. The Emerald Isle truly is a spot to relax like no other.
Montserrat is famous for its black sand beaches due to the volcanic nature of the island. There is one secluded white sand beach (Rendezvous) that you can reach via a hike or a short boat ride.
The festive period has a variety of events, activities and entertainment for persons of all ages and interestest. There’s the official opening ceremony of the St.Patrick’s Day Festival and ongoing exhibitions and lectures throughout the period.
If you’re an early bird, how about trailblazing on Scriber’s Freedom Hike which takes you through the pristine hills of Montserrat. You may be lucky and spot a Montserrat Oriole bird, an endemic creature only found on Montserrat. Look out for the Mountain Chickens.
If you want to get a full flavour of the island, you can go on the Heritage Day and island bus tour of cultural and historical sites. Plant enthusiasts can attend the Montserrat National Trust’s 50th Anniversary Flower Show. Also, there is a Benefit Ball to support the local charity “Meals on Wheels”.
Excitingly, this year, there will be an exclusive screening of the Fox Film Wendy (a re-imagined tale of Peter Pan), which includes scenes that were filmed on the island.
A pub crawl from Salem village to the north of the island you can join sounds like a good time. Just brace yourself for lots of bars!
Moreover, there’ll be a series of parties and concerts such as Leprechaun’s Revenge, Breakfast Fete, Stratify featuring Aidonia, Voice and Kerwin Du Bois, All White Affair and Wet Dreams Pool Party.