In Trinidad the main objective in life is to have fun.
Christmas here is one big celebration.
Christmas is the start of a long season of fun that starts after Halloween ( which is relatively small ) continues through Christmas, and ends after Carnival.
Some Trini Christmas highlights:
- Traditional parang music is largely performed around Christmas time, when singers and players ( known as the parrandero) travel from house to house in the community, often joined by friends and neighbours using whatever instruments are at hand. In exchange for the entertainment, parranderos are traditionally given food and drink: pastelle, sorrel, rum and ponche crema (a form of alcoholic eggnog).
While traditional house-to-house caroling tradition is still practised by small groups and larger organized groups, modern parang music has also developed a season of staged performances called parang fiestas, held from October through to January each year, ending in a big parang competition.
- Trinidadians spend Christmas eve house hopping between friends and family to spread cheer. celebrate and eat and drink.
- They eat Pastelles which are meat and corn wrapped in a banana leaf. The making of the Pastelles is in itself a a lovely occasion for people to get together.
- Music is very important. After all how can you dance with no tunes?
- Ole years is a great celebration here and there are huge parties set up. For a small cost people can go to an all inclusive fete. This means that all food, drinks and DJ entertainment are included and a good time is guaranteed for all. Normally in the West if we pay to go to an event ( normally called a “Ball”) we would settle for nothing less than ball gowns and black tie. Here shorts and a cooler of beer is all that is required.
- Once Ole years is done Carnival season officially kicks off. A series of fetes, sometimes more than one in a week, begins in early January. Let me just say that there is one week at school that not a lot of learning nor teaching happens. More on Carnival season to come later.
- When the excesses of Christmas is over and all the rum and pork digested people start their Carnival shape up. This is when tons of people, (women) take to wearing lycra and walking really fast.
Those Carnival costumes are tiny.
From Trinidad to where ever you are, Merry Christmas! Have a warm and wonderful day.