In this episode, the crew reminisce on some of the Caribbean Christmas Traditions across the islands.

In Trinidad and Tobago, we herald the Christmas season with the boom of ‘bussin bamboo’ around late November. Little boys amuse themselves with loud explosions caused by home made bamboo cannons and a flambeau.

Only the endless cleaning and redecorating rivals the laborious advance food preparations. Drive through any village around early December and you will see curtains and cushion covers hung out to sun. We paint our houses and dust, wash, polish and shine almost everything. Butchers and hunters keep busy providing the sought after cuts of pork, goat or wild meat. Brewing home-made wines and ginger beer and shelling peas or picking sorrel is commonplace.

In many islands, the pre-Christmas period is as much part of the season as are the Christmas holidays. Nine days before Christmas, Vincentians take to the streets and party in the Nine Mornings Festival. Starting with a sea bath before dawn and followed with bicycle rides, street stalls and all day fetes.

In Jamaica and The Bahamas, masked characters like Pitchy Patchy, Devil and Horse Head parade the streets singing and dancing to drums and flutes and fife in the John Canoe/ Junkanoo Festival.

In Trinidad and Tobago, we eagerly welcome paranging or visiting house to house, as it is often the only time you see relatives for the year. Most all the islanders make sure to attend a mass or religious service in celebration of the birth of Christ.

The Caribbean Christmas Traditions are a unique array of customs that borrow from their many ancestral and colonial influences. Much as there are differences, all the traditions embody the warm hospitality of the people, the carefree revelry and pure joy!

 

Big Chune: Myron B – Barrel a rum