Flower Festivals of St. Rose and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Flower Festivals of St. Rose and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

August 30 (St. Rose) and October 17 (St. Margaret Mary Alacoque)
On the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, two floral societies known as the Roses and the Marguerites have preserved the royal pageant traditions of their former European colonizers. Each of these groups boasts a royal family as well as a large number of general supporters. They regularly pay tribute to their namesake flowers as well as their patron saints: Rose of Lima (1586–1617) and Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647–1690). The societies no longer enjoy a dominant role in the Caribbean island's social structure but still enjoy a reputation for hosting the grand fÉtes that mark the respective feast days.
In an intensive process of preparing for the two fÉtes, the Roses and the Marguerites each hold a series of dress rehearsals known as sÉances. During these events, a main performer, the shantwel, leads society members in call-and-response singing accompanied by various folk instruments.
The feast day opens with a church service, which is followed by a street procession presenting the host society's royal entourage. The evening program includes a banquet, the much-awaited performance by the shantwel, and folk dances such as the Quadrille, the Mappa, and the Belair.
CONTACTS:
St. Lucia Tourist Board
800 Second Ave., 9th Fl.
New York, NY 10017
800-456-3984 or 212-867-2950; fax: 212-867-2795
www.stlucia.org
Permanent Mission of St. Lucia to the United Nations
800 Second Ave.
9th Fl.
New York, NY 10017
212-697-9360; fax: 212-697-4993