Trinidad and Tobago, officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a country in the northern edge of South America, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles. It shares maritime boundaries with other nations including Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west.
The Capital of this country is City of Port of Spain.
Christmas Celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago :
Christmas is a very social time in Trinidad and Tobago. As most of the residents are Christian, Christmas is one of the biggest celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago. Most people paint and make repairs to their houses and hang new curtains and decorations (especially lights) for Christmas. Often, this is the time that most people buy new electrical appliances and furniture. Most families spend Christmas Day at home with friends and family members. When Santa Claus arrives in Trinidad and Tobago, it’s to the rhythm of soca parang. The climate is warm and flowers are in bloom which makes for a colorful season. Christmas trees are everywhere, however most are artificial.
In Christmas, parang is the traditional form of music at that time of year. Informal groups, go around serenading in their neighborhoods with horns, guitars, steel drums, tambourines, pots, pans, and any other kind of instrument or noisemaker that can be easily moved from house to house. The better organized and professional Parang groups traditionally use box bass, shac shacs (maracas) guitar and the quatro (a four string guitar).
According to Giselle from Trinidad, “Parang is the Christmas music of Trinidad. Soca Parang is also sung but Soca Parang is a relatively new blending of Soca (calypso) and Parrang. Parrang comes from the Venezuelan tradition of Parranda.”
The days leading up to Christmas are filled with parties at school and at the office. Social organizations also have parties where gifts are exchanged.
Christmas dinner may consist of turkey, ham, pork, pastels (a beef-filled pastry), pigeon peas, sweet bread (paime) and rice. Trinidadian Christmas fruitcake is traditional and is eaten in most homes. The black cake and fruits (such as raisins and sultanas) in the cake are usually soaked in cherry wine, sherry and Caribbean rum for several months before Christmas. Additional rum is poured over the cake after it has been baked. The Christmas beverage in this warm climate is Peardrax, ponche de creme (“punchin'”), gingerbeer, Carib beer, or sorrel drink.
Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!