Christmas is nearly every Bajan's favourite time of the year, and even persons who do not celebrate Christmas may take part in the festivities. At this time, Barbadians truly embrace the traditions and their Christmas spirit comes alive. It is a time of true joy and giving, beautiful lights, belly bursting food and overall festiveness.
The Christmas tradition starts weeks before the season begins as you can find Barbadians busy with their 'Christmas cleaning'. They paint, clean and refurbish their homes, put up new curtains and sometimes even buy new furniture, all in the spirit of Christmas. Decorations, lights and of course the Christmas tree are then added to the ensemble. Christmas isn't Christmas without the beautiful colours.
From the 1st December, Christmas music is in heavy rotation on all the radio stations but in some stores, you can hear Christmas music from early November. This, though, is seldom. The late start to the Christmas music is because Barbados' Independence is November 30th and the month of November is dedicated to Independence celebrations.
Click here for a few Christmas favourites.
Christmas morning finds most Bajans in church decked down in their finest. Some go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve night while others head to the early morning service. This is usually the most packed day of the year, many even joke and say that Christmas day is the one day of the year they are sure to be in church. Afterwards, hundreds of Barbadians head to Queen's Park for a showcase of sorts. Dapper gents and lovely ladies stroll through the park showing off their splendid outfits. This is a time to meet up with old friends and enjoy the sights.
Click here for more about Queen's Park on Christmas morning.The tradition continues with family meals, the entire family gathers for Christmas lunch, or more accurately feast. Tables are heavy laden with rice and peas, macaroni, candied sweet potatoes, chicken, ham, baked pork, turkey, pies and sorrel... And Christmas isn't a Bajan Christmas without Jug-Jug and Black Cake. It is truly a 'belly-bursting affair and leftovers mean that some don't have to cook for the following week, and in some cases weeks.
Click here to find some of these recipes and more.