It’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’re fast approaching that magical time of year where the world takes on a festive glow, people act differently and decorations are starting to be placed.
Everyone has their own way of doing things at this time of year, whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hannukah or even Festivus, chances are you follow the same traditions year after year as do the people around you but did you know that each country around the world has their own set of traditions.
Keep on reading to discover some of the weird and wonderful Christmas traditions from some of our favorite destinations:
Charamicos in the Dominican Republic
A sign of Christmas in the Dominican Republic is the appearance of the Charamicos, wooden hand-crafted Christmas trees, stars, reindeers and other animals displayed in the streets. Charamicos are considered traditional folk art and can be found in abundance during the festive season. They can be found in a variety of bright colors however traditionally they were almost always adorned with white decorations to, presumably, give the illusion of snow. Since the country has a tropical climate year round, the chances of snow at Christmas are slim to none, so the Charamicos offer a great alternative for a white Christmas.
St Lucian Black Cake
Nothing says Christmas in Saint Lucia quite like their traditional Black Cake. Loaded with a mixture of nuts, ginger, raisins, prunes, cherries, and dried fruits, this festive fruitcake is a staple dish during the Christmas period, so much so, that an annual competition is held to find the tastiest cake on the island! The ingredients in the cake are soaked in wine and rum for many months prior to being baked so beware of the alcohol content if you’re celebrating Christmas with a slice of cake in Saint Lucia!
Jonkonnu in Jamaica
Jonkonnu, a fusion of African masked dances and British folk plays, used to be prime street-side entertainment in Jamaica at Christmas. In colonial days, these bands would move from house to house, enjoying gifts of food and drinks or coins from the wealthy. In recent times, Jonkonnu has evolved into a ‘festive’ street parade which showcases characters dressed in exaggeratedly colorful and sometimes, downright scary, costumes.
Posadas in Mexico
Posadas are an important part of the traditional Christmas festivities in Mexico. The word Posada in Spanish translates to Inn or Shelter in English and represents the biblical story of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter in Bethlehem. Posada’s are traditionally community celebrations which begin with a procession in which the participants hold candles and sing Christmas carols as well as a special Posada song in which they request shelter from each house. The Posada procession takes place on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas, from December 16 to 24th.