St. Patrick’s Day Festival – Montserrat
One of the more unusual places to watch a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is on the Caribbean island of Montserrat where there is a week-long Saint Patrick’s Festival that is increasing in popularity. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade every March includes islanders from Montserrat and neighboring islands like Antigua and Guadeloupe. The festival includes a range of educational, cultural, heritage and entertainment. But the reason for this week-long festival is not to celebrate Saint Patrick the patron saint of Ireland; but, to commemorate the slaves who lost their lives after the slave rebellion in Montserrat on March 17th, 1768.
The majority of Montserrat’s early European settlers in 1633 were predominantly Irish Catholics. They came initially from the neighboring island of St. Kitts and later Virginia and Ireland. Some were indentured servants and political prisoners; others were tobacco and sugar plantation owners with West African slaves.
The 1768 slave rebellion in Montserrat was slated to coincide with the annual Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. It was anticipated that the British and Irish would be distracted by the Saint Patrick’s Day feast, drink, and festivities at the Government House. However, the freedom fighters were betrayed by an Irish woman who overhead a planning session. Once the slave rebellion was discovered, it was suppressed with executions and imprisoned.
This rebellion was a significant event in the Caribbean because it was a first in a series of actions that ultimately ended slavery by an Act by the British Parliament signed August 1833.
CaribbeanDays can book your stay on Antigua, Barbuda, Aruba or another nearby island so you can fly in to Montserrat to partake in the festival events or tour the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and safely see the Soufriere Volcano. Come spend the holidays in sunny paradise!
Video of Previous Festival:
Why Montserrat? Have a look from Capt. Bergeron‘s perspective! Best footage ever!
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