For anyone who has just moved to St Lucia or is holidaying on the island over the festive period, you are guaranteed of a magical and memorable time. Although a Caribbean Christmas is different to a UK one in many ways, there are also several similarities. Trying to imagine Santa in the sun might be a tough task, but the St Lucians do their best to make it all as festive as possible; and they do a very good job! |
What Similarities Are There
Despite the lack of log fires and cockle warming mulled wine, a Caribbean Christmas, due to the islands being predominantly Christian, still offers lots of traditional fun. There will be plenty of parties and family gatherings with feasting and presents, and the familiar decorations, carols and Christmas cards are all part of the traditions. You might even find yourself listening to popular Christmas music on the radio and in the shops.
Festive Feasting Just because the weather in St Lucia is very different to the weather in the UK, a Caribbean Christmas does not have to go without the classic festive roast. Turkey and lamb are the meats of choice, and while Brussels sprouts may not appear on every table, you can count on the local yams, sweet potato and plantains making an appearance. Dessert is a take on the Christmas pudding we are all familiar with, except this black Christmas pudding is boiled for several hours until it gets really dark and sumptuous.
There are several traditions unique to the island of St Lucia and one of the most popular ones is the ‘Bursting the Bamboo’. The end of a bamboo cane is filled with kerosene and rags and, when evening comes, is lit. The explosion made can be heard for miles around and welcomes the arrival of the big day itself.
One of the best traditions on St Lucia is the ‘Festival of Lights and Renewal’. This is an event that we are not familiar with in the UK, but it is a wonderful one to experience. In the lead up to December 13th, hundreds of colourful and decorative lanterns are made by the residents of the island and hung in the local villages and towns. On the 13th they are switched on to create a stunning glow that resonates throughout the island and signifies a sense of togetherness.
What You Can Expect
Christmas Eve is a time for partying and, as there are lots of events taking place on the island, getting into the Christmas spirit is easy! Often these events are open to everyone and they regularly continue into the early hours of the next morning, which, in most houses, marks a more relaxed and quiet day. As in the UK, a Caribbean Christmas Day involves lots of eating, present giving and spending time with family.
If you are experiencing a Caribbean Christmas for the first time this year, you have got lots to look forward to.
Adam Gobat is a renowned expert on the Caribbean, with a passion for its culture, history, people and places. If you're looking to holiday, relocate or even just experience a Caribbean Christmas, he is happy to share his wealth of experience. Adam's indepth local knowledge is key to the marketing and sales of the luxury villas and penthouses in The Landings, one of the most desirable freehold beachfront developments in the Caribbean.
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