La Marguerite Flower Festival
On 17 October, many Saint Lucians come together to celebrate the La Marguerite or La Magwit(as known in Kweyol) Festival. The Marguerite flower, like the La Rose, is the national flower of Saint Lucia.
Similar to the La Rose festival, a colourful event, full of pomp and pageantry is held to celebrate the La Marguerite. The La Rose and the La Marguerite festivals differ only by colour; blue is the primary colour of the La Marguerite festival.
A ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ preside over the festival and are accompanied by their royal entourage of dukes, duchesses, princes, princesses, soldiers, policemen, magistrates, doctors, nurses, the clerical hierarchy and supporters
Prior to the festival, seances are held months in advance which simply entail nightly singing practices. The songs are written by the ‘chantwelle’ or female singer.
Formality is observed at those nightly Seances, where every visitor or participating member, bow to the King and Queen upon entering. Police and soldiers in uniform enforce regulations against any disorder. Offenders are taken before a magistrate for a mock trial and then fined.
Each society has a patron saint on whose feast day the grande fete is celebrated. St. Margaret Mary Alacocque is the patron saint of La Marguerite.
The grande fete is celebrated, first with church services throughout the island and afterwards with processions through the streets.