Friday, January 22, 2010

"Las Lap"

"Las Lap" meaning the Last Lap of Carnival in St. Kitts, is held on January 2. It is the last day of Carnival and groups of people from all over the island and Nevis come together for one last parade. We were able to go downtown in Basseterre to watch some of the carnival festivities. It was supposed to start at noon, but our driver, Don, said it hadn't started yet at two. We looked around for awhile and then heard the very LOUD music and saw fancy costumes and headed over to "The Circus" which is considered the center of downtown (a large, green clock tower is in the center of a turnabout and is called "the circus"). The four of us would walk up and down the streets alongside the crowds and just enjoyed being part of the festivities. The people were very kind and friendly everywhere we went!

It appeared that groups would gather somewhere and then march in on a side street and join the parade. It seemed that as the afternoon went on, more groups would join in. The parade route was just a circle - go around the same blocks again and again.

The costumes are colorful! Women gather in groups in matching colors (not matching costumes) but often skimpy outfits.

There are stilt walkers called Moko-Jumbies (info from Wikipedia) who dance around and collectively march in the parade. There are also clowns that wear wire masks.

Don, our wonderful taxi driver for the week, suggested that we only stay for a couple of hours as we were not young folk - leave the Las Lap for the young people. The Carnival would last late into the night. He was right! The music being sung on a truck was extremely loud. And, there were not very many "older" people watching the parade - mostly young people! It looked to me like the young men wore their best new shirts (often striped polos) and the young girls were dressed up to be noticed!


Jocelyn said...

Looks like an awesome trip! Thanks for sharing the pictures and stories.

Tamara Robertson Turner said...

You got some great pictures! What a fun trip!

Andrea said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun! What costumes!