Feast of St. Rose De Lima (La Rose)
This is one of two rival floral cultural festivals of St. Lucia. It is celebrated primarily in the more rural communities. Participants dress up in costumes and dance in the streets. There are distinct featured characters namely The Queen, King, policeman, nurse etc. They dance to the beat of folk music and drumming. It is quite the cultural treat and visitors are welcome to observe and participate.
Traditionally, these two rival Flower Societies begin what is locally referred to as séances. These séances are essentially weekly meetings held by each group. At these meetings, there is one female singer or a Chantwelle of each Society who has the task of composing Belairs (tunes which are a blend of African and French expressions) which are sung in French Creole. In these songs, the Chantwelle and members give praise to their respective societies, while they light-heartedly disparage their rivals (the other Flower Society) in song and dance. The choruses of these songs are usually sung in unison to the accompaniment of saxophones, violins, the banjo, or any [traditional] musical instrument.
After attending a religious service, members of each Flower Society parade the streets of their community dressed up in imitations of Kings and Queens, prince and princesses, doctors, nurses, policemen and soldiers. These weekly séances culminate in the colourful festivals of the La Rose on August 30 and Les Marguerite on October 17 each year.