Spending Easter in the Caribbean is a warm and welcoming experience. As with most things in the Caribbean, local traditions put a unique tropical spin on the holiday’s religious and secular celebrations.
The Religious Roots
The dominant religion throughout the Caribbean is Christianity, particularly Roman Catholicism. No matter where you go in the Caribbean, you are sure to find a lot of churches as many island residents are quite devout. As such, Easter celebrations in the Caribbean are quite established.
Easter dinner is a wonderful part of Easter celebrations. Of course there is the tradition of no red meat eaten on Good Friday, and eating fish and vegetables becomes the rule. .
Easter bun and cheese: A specially made spiced bun with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, filled with raisins, currents and dried fruit, eaten with cheese.
Flying kites is a popular pastime year-round in the Caribbean. It is symbolic of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave and His eventual ascension into Heaven. These events feature impressive creations, with massive kites emblazoned with creative designs. Typically, the Easter weekend falls on dry season, making for a holiday weekend filled with beautiful warm weather. Winds are typically high during that time as well.
The Seú or Harvest Parade is the second largest parade of the island of Curacao, where the streets of Otrobanda are again transformed into a euphoric display of folklore and groups dance through the streets to celebrate the harvest. Locals dress up in the most amazing folkloric costumes. It is a big, colorful event with lots of music and folkloric groups. You will appreciate and enjoy music played on traditional instruments.
Also in some parts of the Caribbean, breaking a fresh egg out in the sun at precisely midday and placing it in a container of holy water on Holy Thursday will form a pattern of coagulated egg white by Good Friday that can be used to predict the future. For example, a ship or anything resembling a boat means you will be travelling.
No Beach on Good Friday
While this Caribbean legend may not be too popular with tourists, the tradition on some islands holds that if you step into the ocean on Good Friday, you will turn into a fish. With the previously mentioned being extremely farfetched, others simply say it is bad luck to go to the beach. The concept arises from the thought that it is bad to be working on your tan on the day of the Crucifixion.
Regardless, on some islands, example the Bahamas, Easter weekend is traditionally ‘back to the beach’ time as the Atlantic waters have finally warmed up enough for everyone to go swimming. In truth, today, going to the beach is no longer bad luck!
These are the most popular traditional Easter traditions of the Caribbean. With the gorgeous weather and Christian traditions conspiring to make it a time both solemn and fun-filled, you will be fortunate to spend Easter in the Caribbean. Go eat some Easter bun! Go to church! Fly a kite! This Easter, enjoy the Caribbean traditions and have a happy Easter or as we say on Curacao Bon Pasku di Resurekshon!