Christmas in a Caribbean Island

Tropical climate of Caribbean Islands is warm, pleasant and occasionally hot through out the year with temperature above 75-degrees. Christmas that falls in December is a season when the temperate is moderate, rains are very rare and the overall climate is pleasant. It is precisely this reason that makes Caribbean Christmas as the hot destination for international tourists.

Like in the other parts of world, Caribbean Christmas essentially comprises of fun, enjoyment, shopping, decorations, family gathering and gifts distribution. Unlike other countries, most of the Caribbeans work in close proximity to family, which makes it ideally suitable for them to devote more time for extensive decorations during Christmas holidays.

For majority of the Caribbean families, Christmas is an occasion for thorough cleaning of houses, re-arrangement of furniture, new curtains, house painting, new upholsteries, and kitchenware, among others. The idea is to welcome the guests and visitors at new looking house. Almost all the people make it a habit to visit the houses of all the neighbors even if for a short duration.

Christmas is the time for preparing several dishes and delicacies that are generally prepared only during the holidays. Rum Punch, Sorrel and Mugby are few excellent alcoholic drinks that are prepared to serve during Christmas. Black cake and fruitcake are the specialties of Caribbeans, which are served as Christmas desserts. Black cakes are made from raisins and other dried fruits that are kept soaked in wine for several weeks before Christmas. Caribbean Christmas dinner consists of baked poultry, roast beef ham, boiled potatoes, steamed root vegetables, peas rice, seasoned rice followed by drinks like Rum Punch or Sorrel.

Caroling that was once considered as the primary activity is slowly becoming an obsolete tradition in Caribbean houses. Caroling was a practice when groups of clergies used to visit and sing at various neighboring area especially in rural locations.

Jonkonoo and Grand Market are two unique traditions in Caribbean Islands. Jonkonoo is like a procession of masked people dancing and parading the streets with drumbeats, chiming bells and instruments. Part of the group walks on the stilts, which makes them appear like tall trees. The group entertains the onlookers and young children and distributes gifts, candies and sweets.

During the week just before Christmas week, big outdoor markets called ‘Grand Markets’ are set up at several centrally located areas in the city. Grand markets are considered as the best places to shop for fresh fruits, vegetables, locally prepared special cakes and sweets, other farm products, and an assortment of several gift items and artifacts. Grand markets function until late in the nights during Christmas Eve. Children are always eager to visit Grand Markets. Children accompanying their parents at Grand markets generate the maximum business for the shop owners at Grand markets.

Caribbean Islands is favored tourist destination during winter. In fact, winter is considered as high season in Caribbean Islands. During Christmas holidays, many schoolchildren display their artistic talents and skills in front of the tourists. Popular hotels organize special shows of local talents and dance performances for the tourists.

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