Today is the last day of the annual carnival "Vincy Mas" and although we are separated by over 4,000 miles, we like to find out about life in St Vincent and on Mustique and are always interested in what our colleagues are getting up to!
Yuoca has managed the Pink House boutique on Mustique for many years now and we recently found out that behind the retailing professional is a carnival queen! Each and every year she takes holiday to make sure that she doesn't miss St Vincent's "Vincy Mas".
We asked Yuoca about her love of all things carnival and here's what she told us...
PHM: How old were you when you fell in love with carnival?
Yuoca: Oh, since I was born! Carnival naturally is in the DNA of all Caribbean people. It was originated from street jump-up the Caribbean slaves had after they were freed from European countries.
PHM: Is this an occasion that you share with the same group of friends each year?
Yuoca: I share it with different friends depending on who is available to celebrate at that time of year because not everyone has the same time off year round.
PHM: What are your carnival traditions?
Yuoca: The tradition is singing, steel pan and costume competitions which involve primary and secondary schools as well. Beach parties and all night parties, with the most famous being wet fête where you dance under sprayed river water from 8:00 pm to 7:00 am the next morning. There is a difference between the junior carnival and the senior carnival!
PHM: We would love to see some of your outfits - we have heard that they are amazing!
Yuoca: I don't usually share these pictures, but here are a few that I have worn:
The head dresses themselves are works of art! Here are some of them in a little more detail:
PHM: When do you start planning for each year's carnival?
Yuoca: I budget for the same shows every year because you could easily get carried away by all the attractions.The time of year is always the same, usually the first 10 days of July, and it’s about 50 different shows both rural and urban.
PHM: What is the very best bit?
Yuoca: My favourite part of carnival is the masquerading competitively of costumes on the streets of Kingstown on the last day, famously called "Mardi gras". I have played with the same Costume Band for the last 10 years and the costumes are designed according to the year's theme.
Each Costume Band is made up of different sections and each section has a Costume Leader who has to lead that section. My band has 8 sections and I am one of the section leaders.
We would like to thank Yuoca for telling us all about this and sharing her great photographs - it does sound like great fun!
A little addendum: this fabulous lady sent photographs from this last weekend's carnival fun - she looks amazing!
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