Culturama is a public holiday celebrated in Saint Kitts and Nevis on the Tuesday following the first Monday in August of each year. This year, it falls on August 8. It is a festival that highlights the islands’ cultural history and prolongs the Emancipation Day festivities by one day. Although there are many events throughout the Caribbean, this one stands apart.
Non-essential public offices, schools, and most businesses are closed on this public holiday. It’s also a holiday for the general public, allowing everyone to participate in the festivities. Even though the festival is celebrated each year in August, the festivities usually begin at the end of July and last throughout August.
History of Culturama Day
Culturama is the answer if you’re in St. Kitts and Nevis and looking for a celebration between the end of Carnival in February and March and Sugar Mas, taking place yearly between Christmas and New Year.
The event first took place in 1974. Culturama was conceived after meeting the Nevis Dramatic and Cultural Society (NEDACS ) in February 1974.
NEDACS bemoaned the absence of traditional dance troupes in the Christmas celebration in 1974. Their response was to create a new festival to celebrate and promote Nevisian culture. The festival was dubbed ‘Culturama,’ and the date was set for August Emancipation weekend.
Culturama has established itself as an important occasion in the calendar after a rough time in the mid-1980s. While outsiders may struggle to distinguish the festival from many other Caribbean carnivals, Cultarama does endeavor to keep its original objective of promoting indigenous culture and tradition through many of its programs.
Nevisians honor their heritage every year during Culturama. It’s Nevis’ response to the various carnivals held on other Caribbean islands. It is celebrated every year in early August to honor Nevisians who have returned to feast with their friends and relatives. It is a celebration and memorial of cultural customs. Every night, there is music, parties, food fairs, and concerts, all leading up to the early march through downtown Charlestown.
There are also colorful pageants, dancing, poetry, and folk music to enjoy. The day ends with a march through packed streets and thousands of spectators from across the world.
Culturama Day timeline
Alexander Hamilton, one of the United States’ founding fathers, is born on January 11.
Nevis remained a British colony until 1967 when it gained Associated Statehood with St. Kitts.
Culturama is born out of a meeting of the Nevis Dramatic and Cultural Society (NEDACS) in February 1974.
Nevis becomes an independent nation on September 19 and forms part of the sovereign democratic state of St. Christopher and Nevis.
Culturama Day FAQs
What are Saint Kitts and Nevis known for?
St. Kitts has the most off-beach activities of the two islands (which include informative tours of the landmark Brimstone Fortress and picturesque golf courses). The quiet island of Nevis is better known for its beaches, which include the famous Pinney’s and Oualie’s clear-water snorkeling.
What language do they speak on Nevis?
The official language is English. Around 40,000 people in Saint Kitts and Nevis speak Saint Kitts Creole, a dialect of Leeward Caribbean Creole English.
Why is St. Kitts called Sugar City?
Sugar, which was once a rare commodity reserved for the super-rich, was once the world’s most important crop. It was more valuable than gold and regarded as the oil of that period. When tobacco and rainforests made way for sugarcane plants in Sugar City, it was dubbed “white gold.”
Culturama Day Activities
Join the party
It's a time for all-night parties, massive feasts, loud music concerts, and streets loaded with singing and dancing troupes. Join the festivities if you’re in the area.
Try the cuisine
Try Nevis' rich Caribbean cuisine. Residents and visitors alike can find food to their liking.
Watch pageants and enjoy poetry
Colorful clothing, poetry, folk music, dancing, and pageants are all available to enjoy. The day culminates in a march with packed streets and thousands of spectators from around the world.
5 Interesting Facts About Saint Kitts And Nevis
Small and mighty
Saint Kitts and Nevis is a two-island, Caribbean country with the smallest area and population in the Americas.
First English colony
St. Kitts is known as "The Mother Colony of the West Indies" because it was the first English colony in the Caribbean.
The first integrated church
The Cottle Church, which was founded in 1824, is the Caribbean's first fully integrated church.
St. Kitts is the nickname of the saint after whom the island was named, Saint Christopher, while Nevis gets its name from Christopher Columbus, who first saw it in 1493.
Son of the land
One of the founding fathers of the United States of America, Alexander Hamilton, was born on the island of Nevis.
Why We Love Culturama Day
Preserving the culture
Culturama is being held to help preserve Nevis' rich cultural heritage. It has evolved into a celebration of the island's culture as well as all cultures that have visited the island.
It is hoped that, in the future, Culturama will be able to vie with other popular regional and international celebrations. It is planned to bring significant economic benefits to the island.
A Miss Culture Queen pageant, an International Artist Night, and a Calypso Show are also part of the festivities. The early-morning march through downtown Charlestown, however, is the pinnacle of it all.
Culturama Day dates