times each year the people of St. Croix take to the streets
of Christiansted for Jump Up, a Caribbean flavored festival
showcasing music, art, food and dancing.
Traffic is closed to vehicles as pedestrians visit the shops, drink in the bars and streets, eat local dishes and, at every turn, find themselves awash in the sounds of
The highlight of any Jump Up are the Mocko Jumbies, the famous stilt walkers known for their distinctive dancing. The meaning comes from Moko, an African god and Jumbi which is a West Indian term for spirits or ghosts, so they are "Good Gods" or "Good Spirits."
This art form originated in Ghana, West Africa and was adopted by the people of the Caribbean.
It is said by many that Mocko Jumbies ward off the evil Jumbie spirits that roam the St. Croix rain forest by night. History aside, the Mocko Jumbies carry on the tradition of an art form that is pure joy to watch.
Along Queen's Cross Street are vendors selling pates, (a local dish of fried bread stuffed with beef, chicken or saltfish), kebobs straight off the grill (go for the local lobster ones), and rum drinks with sugarcane juiced right before your eyes.
delicious and educational.
Nothing evokes the Caribbean mood like the lively Calypso of a steel pan orchestra and at Jump Up you may have the pleasure of seeing three or four different groups.
Quelbe, the official
music of the Virgin Islands, is always in the air. Just
look for the Quadrille dancers in the street and there
you'll find a scratch band keeping Quelbe alive.
There's always a Soca or Reggae band or two
to scratch that street dancing itch when your feet just have to
Jump Ups start at 6 PM "island time" and are celebrated in February near Valentines Day, the first weekend in May in conjunction with the Half Ironman Triathlon, just after the fourth of July to commemorate a local boy who made it big, Alexander Hamilton of ten dollar bill fame, and Thanksgiving weekend, a great time to visit St. Croix and to shop for unique Christmas gifts.
up for family or friends or just give yourself the gift of a great
time on St. Croix.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
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