A Trinidad & Tobago Christmas

The tropical climate in Trinidad & Tobago makes for a warm and sunny holiday season, but that doesn’t stop its citizens from getting into the Christmas spirit!

Many families hang Christmas lights all over their houses in preparation for the exciting holiday. Some houses have extravagant, blinking lights covering their roofs and front yards, in hopes to entertain passers-by. Many Trinidadians also use the holidays as a good reason to touch up their homes with new paint or appliances.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the radio plays nonstop “Parang” music, which is a mix of Venezuelan and Trinidadian Christmas music sung in Spanish. The strums of guitars and upbeat violins blend with maracas to lift everyone’s spirits. “Soca-Parang,” which is sung in English, carries a tropical, cheerful rhythm while singing about holiday fun.

On Christmas Day, most people stay home with their families, but many travel from house to house, enjoying delicious food and laughing with friends. Christmas meals are cooked all holiday season long, not just on Christmas Day. In fact, Trinidadians soak fruits in cherry wine, sherry, and rum for several months in order to bake their yummy Christmas fruitcake. What else is on the menu, you ask? Ham, turkey, homemade bread, and pastelles (tamales). Festive beverages include ponche-de-creme (egg nog), sorrel (a beverage made from sorrel petals, a flower similar to hibiscus), ginger beer, and local wine. Families look forward to crowding around their dinner table to play games, share small gifts, and reminisce about old times.

In Trinidad & Tobago, Christmas is all about sharing joy and comfort through carefully cooked meals and the irreplaceable feeling of enjoying the company of loved ones.