Saint Lucia is a sovereign island country in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. The Capital and largest city of this country is Castries.
Christmas Celebrations in Saint Lucia :
St Lucia is a predominantly Catholic nation and therefore, Christmas is of course one of the island’s most celebrated events. Christmas carols start being heard on the radio around mid-November and from then on it’s full steam ahead in most households as everyone prepares for the festivities. The main towns are decorated and there is a general buzz of excitement in the air.
One of the Christmastime traditions in Saint Lucia is “bursting the bamboo.” From late November one can hear the sounds of bamboo bursting during the night. Men in the neighborhood use kerosene and rags and sticks as fuses to make cannons out of hollowed-out bamboo.
The traditional drinks that are consumed at this time are sorrel, which is made from the red petals of the Roselle Plant; it is nice and sweet and bright red in colour. Another firm favourite is ginger beer. There is also an abundance of yam at this time of year so this is always served as an accompaniment to Christmas dinner, which traditionally consists of roast meat – either Lamb, pork, beef or turkey with plantain, sweet potato, dasheen etc. Spicy black pudding is also served and everyone has Christmas cake, which is a rich traditional fruit cake that is almost black in colour. All the fruits in the cake have traditionally been soaked in red wine for at least three months prior to being baked in the cake.
There is also the Festival of Lights and Renewal, which begins December 13, and features a lantern-making competition and the decoration of towns and villages with lights. The celebration honors the patron saint of light, St. Lucy, with a switching on of the Christmas lights and a lantern-making competition. Lanterns are shaped into various designs and there is a big exhibition in The Derek Walcott Square in Castries. Here the switching on of the lights occurs and signals the official start of the festivities.
On Christmas Eve everyone gets dressed up in their finest to attend midnight mass held at Roman Catholic churches around the island. After the service, parties start and these often carry on until morning, before all the work starts on preparing Christmas lunch. Consequently December 25th is usually a very quiet day on the island, with most people staying at home and resting.
Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!