I would like to ask my readers, how many Caribbean Christmas traditions and customs do you practice or celebrate in your household?
Caribbean tradition provides an important connection with the past, such as roots, heritage, core values… those are often parts of that connection and bring value and meaning into our lives.
Understanding and sharing our Caribbean traditions, heritage and belief systems can provide insights into present-day life. That being said, December 25th will mark my 10-year anniversary hosting the annual Christmas show titled “Island Riddims” live on CKUT 90.3FM. From 11:30am to 4pm on Christmas Day I will be on CKUT 90.3FM taking live greetings on air and playing the best in Parang/Soca/Reggae.
Let’s not forget that traditions can provide comfort. They often provide a blueprint on things to do during certain times, such as this Christmas article. My 2011 Christmas article makes reference to Sorrel, and its hidden nutritional benefits. Then in 2012 I talked about Ginger Beer, which is considered a refreshing favourite during this season.
In 2013, I gave you the Ponche de Creme recipe, a highly recommended drink by Caribbean rum drinkers.
In 2014, I talked about growing up in Trinidad eating the tasty Christmas treat Pastelles.
2015 I gave you the recipe for the most favourite Caribbean Christmas dish: “Black Cake” made predominantly of alcohol-drenched prunes, currants, raisins, etc.
This year I would like to briefly acknowledge that every Caribbean home in Montreal is a little different as families draw on their mixed regional cultures and culinary traditions.
Below I will share a few favourite dishes found in other Caribbean islands.
Breadfruit (cheese) Pie – Is a popular Christmas tradition in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and in all of the Windward Islands. Breadfruit pie is a baked concoction of breadfruit, cheese, milk, flour, butter and breadcrumbs, and has the same consistency as baked mashed potato. Creamy and delicious, it is a filling side dish to accompany other traditional Caribbean Christmas recipes.
Oildown – Is the national dish of Grenada and takes pride for its place in many celebrations year-round. It is a hearty and filling recipe that consists of salted meat/pork, chicken, dumplings, breadfruit, callaloo, dasheen leaves and assorted vegetables (called provisions). Everything is stewed down in one pot with coconut milk, herbs and spices. This traditional dish is a favourite at family get-togethers, especially around Christmas time.
Christmas Ham – Has become the landmark dish for Christmas. In the Caribbean, Christmas is not Christmas without a big ham. Glazes are made with a variety of mouth-watering ingredients, including pineapple, ginger, honey, cinnamon, cloves, marmalade, and sugar. Christmas is the spirit of giving without the thought of getting.
If you do take part in any Caribbean Christmas traditions please share and introduce it to someone new.
Dec. 19 2005 – Onika Bostic known for her solo hits and as the lead singer of Burning Flames died from injuries sustained in an accident on Dec. 11
Dec. 29, 1982 – Bob Marley postage stamp issued in Jamaica. First ever stamp issued to a Rastafarian in Jamaica.
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