While cold and dark winter nights begin to descend upon much of the world in December, the Caribbean offers a sunny and warm escape for those wanting to start their winter off with a tan. As a place that is always a sunny and fun refuge, Holiday events in the Caribbean offer a great opportunity to celebrate the most special time of year with a festive Caribbean twist.
As a result of this special atmosphere, the holidays have become the official start of high season in the Caribbean as many families have made a trip to beach part of their holiday tradition. For those arriving in December, here are our picks for the best holiday events for a Caribbean Christmas to remember.
Nine Mornings Festival – St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Now in its 104th year, the Nine Mornings Festival in St. Vincent and the Grenadines will once again be putting on a show during the wee hours of December this year. Starting on December 16th, residents wake up in the early hours of the morning for nine consecutive nights leading up to Christmas to take sea baths, hold Christmas carol concerts, light festive displays, and play steel drums.
Junkanoo – The Bahamas
By far the most raucous of the holiday events in the Caribbean, Junkanoo takes place on the evening of December 25th with much fun and fanfare. Elaborately decorated troupes of dancers take to the streets of the Bahamas around 8pm to show off their carefully choreographed routines and costumes that they have worked on literally all year. Visitors are more than encouraged to take part in the fun by watching the parades and celebrating with the dancers. This spectacular event truly has to be seen to be believed.
Seeing Sinterklaas – The Dutch Caribbean
If you are visiting Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, or Bonaire during the early part of December, be sure to keep an eye out for Sinterklaas and his band of helpers. One of the most famous Holiday events in the Caribbean, Sinterklaas (who is the inspiration for Santa Claus) can be seen touring the islands keeping track of who has been naughty and nice and then leaving presents for those who have been good on December 6th.
White Sand Christmas – The Cayman Islands
You may have thought when you decided to spend part of your holiday season in the Caribbean, you might have bid farewell to your chances of seeing a white Christmas, but you would be wrong. In the Cayman Islands, local tradition has citizens doing something called “backing sand” throughout the fall. What this means, is that they go out on bright moon-filled nights and collect sand off the beach. They then lay it out in their yards come Christmas time, and even have competitions for the best “white sand” yard.
Old Year’s Night – Jost Van Dyk, British Virgin Islands
Legendary Local beach bar Foxy’s celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of another by hosting a 2 (or more) day party every year. The bay surrounding the laid back watering hole fills up with yachts for days leading up to Old Year’s Night (as they called New Year’s Eve on the island), and once it gets started, the party keeps going well into the New Year. Despite the bar suffering a little damage from Hurrican Irma this year, proceedings will still go ahead, with crowds expected to be just as large as usual.
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