Monserrat is known as “The Other Emerald Island” or “The Emerald Island of the Caribbean” and is the only country outside of Ireland where St. Patrick’s Day is a National Holiday. Here’s a picture of Barbara and me with our new friend Keith (the man in the middle) and his friends.
The Irish Heritage of Monserrat dates back to the 17th century when Irish Catholics were persecuted in other Caribbean Islands. The entire island is decorated in green and the week long celebration is the biggest celebration of the year for this tiny island. Every store, school and government office is closed and the entire island comes to the town of Salem to celebrate. There are food venders, parades, and everyone is dressed in Green!!
They have a St. Patrick Day Queen and Princess.
There is not a person from this island who is not dressed in green and each costume is more elaborate than the next.
Click on the link below to read a good artical explaining the history of the dance.
History of Masquerade Dance
Here are some links to learn more about Monserrat’s Irish History.
If you enjoy celebrating St. Party’s Day, and want to celebrate at and Irish Island…. You have more than one option. I can’t imagine that Ireland celebrates this day much better than their Irish relatives in Monserrat!!!