Baby it's cold outside.... or maybe not if you are celebrating the holidays in the Carribean!
There are so many reasons to opt for sun instead of snow during this time of year. Then when you add some of the best island festivals into the consideration jar .... you've created a monster of highly validated reasons to head to the Atlantic for winter, where Santa traded his sleigh for some swim trunks. Let's take a quick look at just a few that we selected.
The National Day of Saint Lucia or Saint Lucy's Day
Saint Lucia is a small island nation in the Caribbean where December 13th is celebrated as National Day. Saint Lucia was formerly known as The Windward Island, which was first discovered in the late 15th or early 16th century by the Europeans. The first settlers were of French origin. They came to the island, naming it Saint Lucia, giving it the distinction of being the only nation in the world with a female name. Lucy means light.
The National Festival of Lights and Renewal is held the night before the holiday, in honour of St. Lucy of Syracuse the saint of light. This holiday is named after its patron saint, St. Lucy, and celebrates her life and death. Saint Lucia of Syracuse was a young Christian martyr.
The National Day of Saint Lucia is celebrated on December 13. The holiday is a perfect opportunity to appreciate the patron Saint Lucia and show appreciation for the history she holds in the country.
In addition to its National Day, Kalalu World Music Festival has become a solid part of St. Lucia's December holiday event schedule. This four-day festival highlights African, Latin and Caribbean music, enticing you to add this Island getaway to your Holiday Christmas list.
The Grand Market in Jamaica
Grand Market popularly referred to as “Gran' Market” is one of the most anticipated events of the Christmas season. Held on Christmas Eve each year, Gran Market has become a time of celebration, party, and shopping for bargains. It is a day when stores stay open all night, the main streets in the towns are closed and sellers have free reign to put out their goods to sell. Gran Market is held in major towns all over Jamaica, but Kingston has the most outstanding festival.
Grand Market goes back to the times of slavery. It is said that the slaves were given a couple days off and on one of these days they'd dress up and go meet to socialize. Some slaves would go to sell homemade items like straw hats and baskets. There are lots of traditional foods associated with Christmas in Jamaica such as Sorrel, Gungu Peas, and Black Cake (rum cake), found at Gran Market.
Junkanoo is a bi-annual celebration of sights and sounds that takes place on Bay Street in Nassau, Bahamas. This street parade is a plethora of music, dance, and costumes which takes place annually on Boxing Day (26 December) and New Year's Day (1 January).
The festival may have originated several centuries ago, when enslaved descendants of Africans on plantations in The Bahamas celebrated holidays granted around Christmas time with dance, music, and costumes. After emancipation the tradition continued and junkanoo evolved from simple origins to a formal, organized parade with intricate costumes, themed music and official prizes within various categories. *Wikipedia
Paramin Parang Festival Trinidad
A very unique Christmas tradition among Trinidadians is called ‘Parang’. Parang is Christmas music sung in Spanish that is unique to Trinidad. ‘Paranging’ is usually done during Christmas time when informal singing groups go around serenading people in communities using horns, the steel drum, pots, pans and so many other types of instruments to make music. The food cannot be left out. A traditional Trinidadian Christmas dinner consists of turkey, ham, pigeon peas and rice, and of course ‘Black Cake’ also known as Christmas cake, rum cake or fruit cake.
Other notable holiday events in the Caribbean include:
St. Kitt's and Nevis Sugar Mas Carnival
Classical Pops in Barbados
Bahamas International Film Festival
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