The Caribbean’s winning combination of year round sunshine, warm welcome and festive atmosphere attracts visitors from all over the world at Christmas. Here are some of the top places to party
Grenada’s Carriacou Parang Festival December 14-16th
This music festival attracts local and regional bands for an annual competition honouring the traditional string music of the island of Carriacou, just off the coast of Grenada. There’s Christmas music and carols as well as less traditional performances.
St. Kitts National Carnival Mid-December-Jan. 2
St. Kitts’ Carnival is unique in that it runs throughout the Christmas and New Year period and is both a holiday festival and celebration of national pride. Visitors can enjoy colourful pageants, music, food fairs, and street parties.
St. Nicholas Day in the Dutch Caribbean Dec. 5,
This is when St. Nicholas (Sinter Klaas) can be seen riding his white horse with his helper Zwarte Pete on St. Nicholas Eve through the streets of the Dutch Caribbean islands of Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire. A traditional Dutch festival with sweets and treats for all the family – if you’ve been good!
St. Lucia National Day December 13th
National Day in St. Lucia is on December 13th, but the festivities over lap with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations making December a month of non stop parties, parades, sports events, a Festival of Lights, a choir festival, market festival, and feasts.
Bahamas Junkanoo December 26th
Boxing Day is party day in the Bahamas, when the Boxing Day Junkanoo parades take place across the islands, featuring the best junkanoo groups in their elaborate costumes dancing to contagious rhythms. The parades start just after midnight Christmas Mass concludes and the solemnity of church services give way to wild abandoned celebrations!
Trinidad’s Christmas Music
At Christmas time, the influence of the Spanish comes to the fore on Trinidad with parang, a Venezuelan-derived Christmas music in which small groups of singers and guitarists go from house to house. In the last few decades, a hybrid form soca parang has grown up with new releases every year that rival the more traditional parang music.