December is a perfect time to get away to the Caribbean as it is the Christmas season.
From a religious perspective, the majority of inhabitants of the islands are Roman Catholic.
Therefore, the Christmas season is a key celebration on the Christian calendar. Typically, Christmas in Caribbean is filled with food.
Black fruit cake, ham, sorrel and ginger beer are a few of the items served during the Christmas season.
Our goal in this article is to provide you with a summary of the events and festivals of various Caribbean islands during the month of December to support your vacation planning.
Read on for further details and explanations on what are the best Caribbean Islands to visit in December. This article was written by a Caribbean National who lived and traveled throughout the islands.
1.Turks & Caicos
Our first recommendation is the Turks & Caicos Islands which is a group of 40 different islands and cays of which only 8 are inhabited.
The island group is an overseas dependency of the United Kingdom (UK) and the official currency is the US dollars.
Celebrated on December 26th which is also a bank holiday in many of the Caribbean islands including Turks & Caicos is a festival called Maskanoo.
This is street festival hosted in Providenciales and involves local food, music, street parade and live entertainment.
In addition to this festival, Turks and Caicos is known for the iconic and award winning beach Grace Bay Beach known for its white sand and turquoise waters.
Several water sports activities can be enjoyed at Grace Bay Beach due to its calm waters.
Located in the Southern region of the Caribbean is Grenada which is fondly known as the Isle of Spice.
During the Christmas season, there is a genre of music unique to the island nation called parang. The music has a slight Spanish flair to it.
Individuals sing Christmas songs as well as create tunes detailing events of the year.
These may be political, economic or socially related matters that occurred during the year.
Additionally, homes and commercial properties are decorated with lights during the Christmas season.
3. St Vincent & The Grenadines
St Vincent & the Grenadines comprises of St Vincent as the mainland along with a chain of 32 smaller islands which are called The Grenadines.
Some of the Grenadines are inhabited such as Bequia, Union Island and Canouan. Alternatively, islands such as Petit Nevis and Tobago Cays are uninhabited.
During the Christmas season, there is a festival only hosted in this Caribbean island called Nine Mornings.
This involves individuals gathering at a designated area nine mornings before Christmas where Christmas carols are performed along with other cultural artforms such as steel pan music and dancing.
4. St Barths
Individuals seeking an exclusive and luxurious way to spend Christmas and New Year Eve, should consider St Barths as the destination of choice.
The Christmas season attracts many high profile and A list celebrities to the island.
Moreover, if you will like to spend the Christmas season on this island, it is recommended that you secure your accommodation at least a year in advance.
During the Christmas season, there are Christmas shopping areas
Typically, on New Year’s Eve there are numerous parties with a firework displays. Yacht owners often sail to the island for celebrations in the capital city of Gustavia.
St Barths has truly become one of the favorite destinations of the celebrities and wealthy individuals due to the privacy of the island. Locals respect visitors and give them space to enjoy the island.
Additionally, the level of crime is low and there are no paparazzi so visitors can enjoy tranquility and serenity.
St Barths is only eight square miles and according to Worldometers.com, the population was 9,936 at the time of publication.
5. Puerto Rico
This island has the longest Christmas in the world as festivities are celebrated for approximately 45 days.
Unlike other Caribbean islands which are generally English Speaking, Puerto Rico is Spanish speaking due to its history. The island was previously an overseas territory of Spain.
As a result of the Treaty of Paris in 1898, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States of America (USA). Today, Puerto Rico still remains a dependency of the USA.
Therefore, there are many similarities between Christmas in Latin America and Puerto Rico.
Nochebuena is bigger than Christmas day where families get together to eat, celebrate and exchange gifts Christmas Eve night.
Additionally during the season, there are several Christmas markets and the lighting of kayaks to mark the season.
Homes, streets and businesses are decorated. The Christmas season continues into the month of January with the celebration of Three Kings Day which is huge.
There is a public holiday on January 6th for El Dia De Reyes which celebrates the three wise men visiting Jesus after his birth.
For several years, the community of Juana Diaz marks the event with a street parade with individuals beating timbrels, playing guitars and persons depicting the three wise men.
6. British Virgin Islands
Located to the East of Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a group of 60 islands. The four main islands are Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke.
The BVI is an overseas dependent of the United Kingdom and the official currency is the US dollar.
One of the best islands to celebrate Christmas is on Jost Van Dyke. Foxy’s Bar which is popular entertainment spot on the island provides a Christmas Eve Dinner and Christmas Day Lunch event.
If you are planning to visit the BVI during the holidays, remember that there are no direct and non-stop international flights from cities such as North America, Canada, Europe and South America.
International flights must connect to other Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Antigua or St Maarten.
7. Dutch Caribbean Islands
The Dutch islands of the Caribbean comprise of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Aruba in particular is one of the favorite spots of visitors primarily from the USA.
December is an extraordinary time to visit the Dutch Caribbean as the islands celebrate Sinterklaas which is based on the character St Nicholas.
Commemorated on December 5th there are special sweets and treats that are served during this time.
Sinterklaas has received criticisms due to the figure zwarte piet which is depicted in the festivities black faced.
Zwarte Piet which directly translates as Black Pete is Sinterklaas’s helper.
We trust that you found the information above helpful as you plan your Caribbean vacation during the month of December.
It is truly an amazing time to experience the food, friendliness and the festivities of the Caribbean.
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