The Feast of Santa Rosa

The procession of the Santa Rosa R.C. congregation by the famous Arima dial.
The procession of the Santa Rosa R.C. congregation by the famous Arima dial. Reporters
Event Date: August 27, 2006
Posted: September 02, 2006

The Feast of Santa Rosa is an historic event that has survived centuries. It begun during the era when the Spanish colonial government decided to use the old Capuchin Mission grounds in Arima to establish Mission grounds for the indigenous people of Trinidad in 1785. The holiday of Santa Rosa de Lima, which commemorated the Peruvian saint, Santa Rosa, for being the first person in the Americas to be canonized as a saint was first celebrated in Trinidad in 1786 which was the 200th year anniversary of its celebration in other New World territories.

This event, the 220th anniversary of the Santa Rosa Festival was held on Sunday 27th August, 2006 and began with a procession by members of the Carib community from the Santa Rosa Carib Community Centre to the Santa Rosa R.C. Parish.

The church service, which began at 9.00, was a ceremonial one incorporating aspects of Carib ritualism with the Roman Catholic tradition. The church was filled with Roman Catholic Arimians and other Roman Catholics from all over the country who came to venerate the saint, Santa Rosa.

The march then continued as part of the annual tradition to appease the Catholic saint, Santa Rosa. This procession, which now had the following of the entire Santa Rosa congregation, journeyed from the church through the streets of Arima including: Woodford Street, which is where the church is located, Queen Street passing the Dial, and Hollis Avenue. The gathering was indeed large as hundreds filled the streets to propitiate the Roman Catholic saint, Santa Rosa whose statue was also part of the procession. Members of the Girl Guides, the Red Cross and Cadet Forces were also present to march in solidarity with this tradition.

After the march returned to the church and had completed the formal aspect of the ceremony, members were allowed to socialize and have breakfast. Soon after, members of the Carib community and their supporters journeyed to the Santa Rosa Carib Community Centre for an evening of fun activities.

After members of the community enjoyed lunch at the community centre, the room was cleared for those who wished to 'shake a leg' on the dance floor. Guests were treated to the music of 'Sharkie' also known as 'the one man band' and MC/DJ Wayne Q who provided music for ones to enjoy.

A bit later that evening, guests were treated to live performances of hot entertainers such as Calypsonians 'Mighty Striker' and 'Lady La Fleur', The New Pioneers Steelband Orchestra and appearances by the Mausica Best Village Queen. Parang bands from all over the country also came to show their support and love for Arima and each played three songs. These bands included: the Maracas Serenaders, the Lara Brothers, the Canarios Parang Group and the Mucho Tempo Parang Group.

During the live Parang acts, members of the Arima Community, ranging from the very young to the young at heart danced their various forms of Latin dances, showing great skill and gracefulness on the dance floor. Outside the community centre was thick with hundreds of supporters who also partook of the music that the Carib community had to offer.

It was interesting to see what the descendants of the Carib group had to offer and it was good to see that they still have not abandoned some of their cultural traditions.

Santa Rosa Carib Festival in pictures:

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