Easter in the Caribbean

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 Foods
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.

Kite Flying
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.

Folkloric parade
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.

Breaking Eggs
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!


Curacao started with a blast

As the new years starts Curacao begins with one of the biggest events of the year.

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Sulegria The first event of the season and best of all times! It was colorful, sensational, sensual and most import the atmosphere was perfect. DJ Chuckie, DJ Dyna, DJ Gregor Salto and the DJ that surprised everybody with his set was DJ Dave Roelvink.

After finally waking up and being rested from Sulegria. You would think that the party was over. Think again. Fuikdag is the after party on water. On the first Sunday of the year (or the second if it’s bad timing) everything that floats comes to Fuik Bay for one big party on the water. Bring your inflatables and lots of booze because this is one big BYOB party on the water.

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All the DJ’s from Sulegria where there playing their music on the water. But also DJ Hardwell, The Partysquad and Little Kleine where partying. People where fighting for the right spot on the water with their boats, jet skis or their inflatables. Fuikdag is the day everybody was waiting for. It is about getting up early in the morning to start drinking from 7.00 am till 5.00 pm. Partying all the time, splashing in the water, dancing in your trendiest hottest bikini’s and enjoying the sun, beach, water and good music all at once.

Every year these events gets bigger and better. Start your new year with the first outdoor music dance event SU’LEGRIA! Experience a night of celebration, surprises, diversity, entertainment, glitter, effects and freaking good music. Rent your boat for Fuikdag 2018. Can’t wait till the next year!


Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival

The 7th edition of Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival (CNSJ) took place on September 1, 2, and 3, 2016

As the opinions are divided how great this edition was doesn’t matter. Curacao had a lot of fun with artists like Chris Brown,Tom Jones, Jamie Cullum, Betty Wright, Level 42 and the Cuban Affair on Friday

North SEa Jazz

Al lot of tourist came from all over the world and a lot of them booked with Key Caribe. It was a fun but really busy week with all the vacation villa’s and hotels on Curacao fully booked due to Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival.
Al lot of customers that booked their vacation villa with Key Caribe booked their rental car with Curva Car rentals.

As always this event gave the tourism of Curacao a real boost and showed how great the Caribbean can be if we had more of these events during the year. With all respect of course for events like Sulegria, Fuikdag, Amenisia and Full Moon party but they are mainly based on the dance scene. CNSJ has a variety of music genres and doesn’t only bring great artists to Curacao but also brings the spotlight for a week on an island that is fairly new to tourism.

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Everybody knows about Sint Maarten for the luxury and Aruba for the nice beaches but Curacao also has so much more to offer. Curacao has a lot to learn when it comes to service and hospitality but with the experience of the other islands of the Dutch Antilles they will get there.
As the week started you could feel the tension rising for the event. Hato airport was busy and the streets of curacao where really full with traffic jams.
All the radio stations where talking about the artists and had games to win tickets for the event. You could here all the songs by the artist and start enjoying yourself in the car waiting for the artists to arrive on Curacao and perform the songs live.

Thursday was the kick off for the event. This day was a free event and 10000 local persons and a lot of companies on Curacao received a ticket.
The persons that bought a ticket for the whole event also got a ticket for the free concert on Thursday.

The show started with Kassav.
They started it with so much energy nobody could stand still. Everybody was dancing and singing along with their famous songs. By bringing their favorite carnival music with a modern twist, influenced by, among others, rock, this zouk genre touched everybody on the Caribbean.

After Kassav the fun wasn’t over. I took a short break and went to the food stands that offer local cuisine, fried plantin, stewed beef but also simple food like hamburgers, chicken skewers and hotdogs. Then Juan Luis Guerra came and conquered the evening with his famous songs for the third time on Curacao.

North Sea JAzz

Chris Brown had all the young people dancing to his songs on Friday and Lenny Kravitz rocked the stage on Saturday. But what many considered the best act was Michael Bolton. He gave a tremendous show on Saturday. People were swarming to the stage and there were so many people still coming in that they had to close the doors and other stayed outside the hall watching the screens and singing along. In my opinion he gave the best show out of the whole weekend.

Every year in August/ September CNSJ takes place and we will be there again next year, enjoying all styles of music, the island and the great atmosphere. I advise you to come down to and enjoy music the Curacao way.


Affordable Caribbean villa rentals amenities

KeyCaribe strives on its mission to continue to evolve the experience of their guest through the use of essential and state of the art facilities. More than just basic necessities, these amenities serve to be one of their edges over the competition. If you are planning to indulge yourself to the beauty of Anguilla in the Caribbean, you will get more than the beach and the sun. With affordable Caribbean villa rentals, here are some of the amenities that are second to none.

Free Access (Lobby)

As part of KeyCaribe’s efforts to enhance guest experience by means of listening and responding to their needs, they offer free Wi-Fi that will render convenience and connectivity regardless of booking method. Travelers would be able to get the most of their Free Wi-Fi on wide array of mobile devices. Plus, there are also rooms that come with Free Wi-Fi.

CCTV & 24 Hours Security

Aside from the mission to provide the highest score of quality services, they also make sure that the security of their Anguilla villa rentals are in maximum condition in order to keep guest safe all the time. They have scattered monitoring systems that are thoroughly studied in control room. At KeyCaribe, they consider security on the top of their list. All of their security systems work twenty four hours a day and they are consistently upgraded in order to meet the security needs of their visitors.

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Luggage Storage room

To save you from the hassles of piling through spaces for your luggage, they have separate rooms intended for your luggage. In this way, you would not just feel comfortable but at the same time you would also be more organized during your stay in excellent villa rentals in Caribbean. When it comes to the security of your luggage, there’s nothing that you have to fret because they completely assure you that everything is under control thus you’d be confident that your items are always safe and so you are.

Prayer Room

At KeyCaribe, they do not forget about the religious side of their guests. For this reason, villa rentals also have here prayer rooms that are designed with solemn setting perfect for meditation hours.

Free Parking

Free parking services are exclusive packages offered. All you have to do is to simply park at the area that is nearby to the departure terminal. If you are planning to stay overnight, they have parking areas available for you for free.

Key card access

Key card systems provide entry access into the villa rental rooms. This is part of security control in order to limit access to certain areas of the property. It is also an excellent way to eliminate the hassle of re-keying in case of lost keys. As a result, every guest can have the confidence against the threat of theft and harm while they are in Anguilla villa properties.

Kid’s Pool

For your young ones, they have amazing kids pool exclusively designed for fun and memorable bonding for the entire family. They offer pools with varied size perfect for your kids for a complete ride of fun and excitement.
These and more excellent facilities you can experience when you make the right choice to go to Anguilla, Caribbean. Brace yourself to accommodation services that are next to none by getting in touch with KeyCaribe.

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Must Try Curacao cuisine

To become familiar with a country is to dine on its local specialties. Curacao’s cuisine is quit diverse and food has become the way of the land since it is as diverse as the many ethnicities and languages of its people. From upscale restaurants to street food stalls, there is something to appease any gourmet; especially these five dishes, that have made a delicious statement throughout the island. Just about every taste of Curacao is a testament of its eventful past, with flavors so rich you’ll be saying “dushi” (local term for sweet) with every bite.

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Kadushi (Cactus Soup)
From Curacao’s lush hills to its coastal cliffs, cacti can be seen just about everywhere on the island thanks to its arid temperatures. Along with the island’s wildlife, people have also relied on the prickly plant for its natural resources, which can still be traced here even to this very day in dishes like kadushi, well-known as cactus soup.
Traditionally providing a source of energy, the spines are removed, and the cactus is skinned, and sliced in order to reach the meat that is located inside of the plant. Once the meat is boiled in a broth, traditionally “palu di lele” (kitchen utensils made from tree branches) are used to stir the soup. Although green in color and slimy in texture, eating kadushi is an ideal way to familiarize your taste buds to Curacao’s culture, especially at the Marsche Bieuw (The Old Market) in Willemstad.

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Guiambo (Okra Soup)
Another dish normally served at The Old Market is guiambo, commonly known as okra soup. Also slimy in nature, the okra is stewed to perfection and mixed with seafood to give it the ultimate taste. Like most soups, it is best consumed with a spoon, although the gooey texture of the dish typically makes it stick to the spoon, which makes it a bit of a challenge to eat.
Nevertheless, once you’ve sunken your teeth into this hearty meal, the gooeyness of guiambo is outweighed by the flavor of the seafood and the okra. And like many soups of the Caribbean, it is customarily eaten as an entrée instead of as an appetizer.

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Ayaka
Just in time for the holidays, ayaka is a Curacaoan specialty that makes an annual appearance during the season of Christmas. You’ll find it neatly concealed in a green leaf of either plantain or banana, and unwrapping is required in order to savor the golden cornmeal treat filled with a variety of stewed meats usually consisting of chicken, beef, or pork.
Ayaka can be found in restaurants and markets across the island, making the pursuit of unwrapping this dish just as exciting as opening a gift during the holidays; particularly because of the savory goodness that is cooked up inside.

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Red Snapper
It is quite hard to resist the temptation of fish in Curacao, especially since specialties like red snapper, which is deemed a national dish, can be found on almost every menu.
That’s why this local favorite is worth a try. In restaurants like Grill King in Willemstad, chefs are masters at whipping up the traditional treat with a side of French fries, plantains, or funchi to make the Curacaoan staple complete.

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Sult
Pig’s ear or feet for that matter may sound like a dish for the adventurous foodie, but you might be pleasantly surprised since many of Curacao’s natives can’t get enough of this beloved dish. Locally known as sult, it is thinly sliced and drenched in a vinegar-flavored liquid in order to absorb the onion and other spices incorporated into the recipe.
If you’re thinking about taking your palate on a wild culinary journey, hotels like the Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino have the right ingredients to make your appetite crave more of this unique spin on pork.

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Must know Curacao Holidays

If your planning a vacation in Curacao then one of the things you definitely need to know is the different types of Curacao Holidays. In order to get the most out of your Curacao experience. But don’t fear Keycaribe is here! sharing with you the most common celebrated holidays in Curacao.

New Year’s Day Jan 1
After the year ends with a big bang, the first day of the New Year is traditionally a time for family gatherings. (Stores are closed). For several days the streets are littered with the red paper wrappings of thousands of firecrackers.

Carnival Monday Feb 16 Carnival Monday Feb 16
During the eight Carnival weeks Curaçao is turned into one big melting pot of people having fun on and off the streets. It all culminates in the Grand March at Sunday March 6 (Dates are subject to change) and is finished off with the Farewell Grand Parade at Tuesday evening 8 March. Monday, March 7, is an official public holiday.

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Good Friday Apr 3
An official holiday on this largely Catholic island and the beginning of a weeklong spring break for schools. Like all school vacations, expect local beaches to be crowded. Grocery stores and markets do a record sale in fresh and salted fish on the previous days. Spring breath begins for schools, and lasts through the following week.

Easter Sunday
Local children are decked out in their spring finery for the traditional first communion celebrations, which are held between now and Ascension Day. (May 21 May) The Curacao Cultural Ministry organizes a major kite flying competition at the Waaigat Parking area in Punda.

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Easter Monday / Seu Folklore Parade Apr 6
On the Monday after Easter local folklore groups wear traditional costumes and parade through the streets of Punda and Otrobanda, recalling the harvest festival of yesteryear. The groups, which range from young children to older people, play traditional musical instruments as they dance through the streets.

Koningsdag King’s Day Apr 27.
King’s birthday Willem Alexander.There are official celebrations at Fort Amsterdam and a festive atmosphere in Punda.On this day you can sell and buy almost all kind of things on the streets
and almost every store gives good discounts on sales!

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Labor Day May 1
The government of Curaçao and labor unions organize special activities.

Ascension Day May 14
A popular time for first communion celebrations.

Flag Day Jul 2 Flag Day Jul 2. Dag van de Vlag
Celebrated with official ceremonies and cultural events at Plaza Brion and the Village of Barber.

Curaçao Day Oct 10. Dag Van Het Land Curaçao
Is an official non- working public holiday to commemorate the first anniversary of the date when Curaçao gained autonomous country status. As per the aforementioned Curaçao government announcement, October 10 will be an annual non-working public holiday, called “Curaçao Day”, from this year onward.

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Special Curaçao Holidays
St. Nicolas Day Dec 5 St. Nicolas Day Dec 5 Or Sinterklaas
Children carefully set out their shoes on the eve, filled with grass for St. Nic`s horse. Those who have been good receive a gift, those who haven`t are afraid a “Zwarte Piet” will carry them back to Spain in a Sack. Local schools participate fully in the festivities look for jeeps full of Piets in black face driving around residential areas throughout the week. It may surprise you to see local businesses decorated with caricatures of black face Piet.

sinterklaas

Fuik Day Or Fuik Dag
Is a Curaçao’s yearly recurring boat party in Fuik Bay on the first Sunday of the year with boats, booze and DJ’s.
Since 2011 big DJ’s like Chuckie, Afrojack and others have played there, but who’s coming this year… On the first Sunday of the year (or the second if it’s bad timing) everything that floats comes to Fuik Bay for one big party on the water. Bring your inflatables and lots of booze because this is one big BYOB party on the water.

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The beautiful Juliana bridge

The Curacao Queen Juliana Bridge

The Queen Juliana Bridge is a four-lane road arch bridge crossing the St. Anna Bay in Willemstad, the capital of Curacao (reaching a height of 56.4 m (185 ft.) It is the highest bridge in the entire Caribbean. The bridge is 500 m (1,400 ft.) long and weighs a total of 3,400 tons, it was opened in 1974 and named after Queen Juliana (1948–1980) who at that time was the reigning queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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The juliana bridge was built to relieve a nearby century-old swinging pontoon bridge which was the only way through the center of the capital, and which had to swung open to make way for ship traffic several times as day. Its height was carefully planned to allow any ship in the world of that era to sail underneath and enter Willemstad’s commercial harbor.

Its construction began in 1960’s, starting on the Eastern shore. In 1967, just as the last section of the first half was being built, the entire bridge collapsed into the water killing sixteen workers. The cause of the accident was never determined: some say it was metal fatigue, however many suspect frauds were involved with the Dutch subsidized funds in an attempt to build a cheaper bridge. Construction started once again two months later, this time starting from the Western shore.

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The Juliana Bridge is ment for road traffic only as the wind and motion of the structure would make pedestrian or bicycle traffic far too dangerous. The view from its apex includes the entire panorama of the city and is one of the highest points on the island.

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Benefit of choosing a vacation rental

Experience the Benefits of Vacation Rentals
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Vacation rentals are becoming more and more popular among traveler looking for an experience far more different than the ordinary hotel stay, Thanks to the many benefits they bring like space, savings and authenticity. rentals do provide a more authentic and “local” experience than regular hotels, giving the traveler the ability to cook their own meals, shop at the local market, and mingle with real-life locals within the rental neighbourhood. besides the different facilities their are also perfect because the choices are endless. acation rentals come in a large variety of shapes and sizes to fit a variety of travel needs, with options ranging from condos and cabins to beach homes and villas.

Now if the above stil doesn’t persuade you enough to choose for a vacation rental? Keycaribe gives you a few reasons for why vacation rentals are the BEST option for you.

Rentals save you money

Among the benefits that you as a traveler may favor, studies show that 62% of travelers choose vacation rentals for the value they offer. The average price per bedroom per day of a vacation rental usually is approximately $ 30 lower than the average price for a hotel room, giving you more money in your pocket for other travel expenses. While the average square footage of a hotel room is 325, vacation rentals average 1,850.

There is room for everyone

When exploring the benefits,vacation rentals offer multiple bedrooms, which make them a leading option for families and larger groups of people looking to share vacation costs. having multiple bedrooms allows everyone to spread out while vacationing together. Having more room also helps alleviate one of the top-cited annoyances of family getaways: not enough quiet time for parents. Thanks to the extra space vacation rentals offer, two times as many vacation rental guests travel in groups as compared to hotel guests.

in Home amenities

a fully equipped kitchen is one Of the many benefits vacation rentals offer, having a kitchen allows travellers to cut costs by making some meals at home. Another benefit of having vacation rentals is having an in unit wash dryer. a majority of travellers choose vacation rentals for the home-like amenities, such as in-unit washers/dryers, which can add convenience and help guests cut down on luggage.

Experience the local life

authentic local experience Vacation rentals give guests a true feel for what it’s like to live like a local. What better way to experience a destination than by staying in a local vacation rental property?

Choices are endless

the best benefit of choosing for a vacation rentals is that their are different rental types to fit your needs From condos, private homes, cabins and villas to houseboats, tents, caravans and castles. Keycaribe offers many different vacation rentals in the Caribbean in island such ass Curacao,Aruba,St. Maarten, Antigua and more.


10 Reasons why YOU Really Do Need A Vacation Rental Manager

Why should you choose for a vacation rental manager?

Many simply don’t understand the hard work that goes into managing a vacation rental and underestimate the time they will spend on marketing, accounting, property management, customer service and more.
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Making the decision to choose for a vacation rental manager can be hard, we know. trusting someone with such a big investment is a big decision. you’re not only trusting someone with your dream home but the home where you vacation to, so here’s a list of reasons why hiring a rental professional for your vacation home is the best decision.

1 PROXIMITY can make all the difference. Knowing what roads are closed for repair, what the weather is going to do, or just being able to check in on your precious investment to make sure all is well takes being near your rental. Having a vacation rental manager makes it easier for you as a home owner to continue with other responsibilities while knowing your property is well taken care of.

2 ONLINE BOOKING The internet has taken a turn for the more mobile friendly options in recent years. With 15% of all vacation rental guests shopping for and booking a rental online, it is easy to see why having your rental featured on a trusted site that books online is essential in our on the go world. keycaribe’s can take care of all your bookings and reservations.

3 MARKETING Most rental management professionals value a strong marketing presence and use many different media’s to market your properties to a whole new generation of renters, giving you the advantage of staying connected to renters, both new and returning.

4 RENTAL CALENDAR face it: One of the most challenging parts of having a vacation rental can be filling your rental calendar in the off seasons. Rental managers are like calendar fairies, they keep your rental priced competitively and will help you get the word out about your spectacular home!

5 LEGAL PROTECTION Keeping up with legal requirements for vacation rentals can be difficult, with a rental manager all that work is done for you and you get current updates on management laws and a report of all your home’s income for the year.

6 RENTERS one of the most difficult part of renting a vacation home can be dealing with renters. Things can go wrong in a minute for a renter and you do not want to be the one on the receiving end of those 2 a.m. phone calls. Rental managers can offer a safe place for feed back to be given and help take care of renters concerns in a timely manner. face it as a home owner you already have a job. Your rental should be as relaxing for you as it is for your guests. Why not let the professionals do the work for you?

7 EXTRAS guests are more likely to associate key experiences with vacation rental professionals vs. individual owners, such as: services (daily maid service, concierge, dining), customer service, safety and security, activities, services for children, and modern amenities.

8 BRANDING When you rent your home through a professional rental manager they more than likely already have a following of customers they work with. they have people ready to rent from you just because you’re with them. No searching for people and hoping it works.

9 GUEST EXPERIENCE When it comes down to it, vacations are made and broken in the smallest of details and rental managers know what these little things are. They have resources that will help guests outline a perfect vacation.

10 PROFESSIONALISM most travelers choose to go with a rental manager because they are viewed as hospitality professionals, and are more apt to provide the protections, standards and services families have come to expect (i.e. professionally cleaned properties, secure reservation systems, an emergency contact 24/7, concierge services, travel insurance, travel packages & deals, etc.)

Now that your totally convinced that hiring a vacation rental is for you ! contact us through info@keycaribe.com and let us give you the luxury of time


Spending the Holiday season in Curaçao

Spending the holiday season in the caribbean is a whole other experience. It doesn’t snow it won’t get cold and Santa doesn’t climb down your chimney. nevertheless spending your holidays in the caribbean will be an experience worth while. A visit to the Caribbean is always a good thing, but a Caribbean Christmas is the best time of all. The most important thing a wanderluster in the caribbean holiday season needs to know, is what and how we celebrate.

caribbean-christmas

Christmas season officially starts in Curaçao when we hit mid- November, its all about the music, the spirit and gatherings. every other weekend you will find at the side of the street “Tambú” gatherings. “Tambú” is a traditional holiday season music that contain rather controversial lyrics sometimes stating how the year went by. Early December there’s the “Koop-avond” night where stores in the city stay open every Thursday till 9, where people can shop, gather and have a good time shopping while enjoying festive music and food.

St. Nicolas Day Dec 5 Or Sinterklaas
Children carefully set out their shoes on the eve, filled with grass for St. Nic`s horse. Those who have been good receive a gift, those who haven`t are afraid a “Zwarte Piet” will carry them back to Spain in a Sack. Local schools participate fully in the festivities look for jeeps full of Piets in black face driving around residential areas throughout the week. It may surprise you to see local businesses decorated with caricatures of black face Piet.

sinterklaas

Christmas eve Dec 24
Christmas eve is the time where families usually gather (allot of workers get half day off or stop working at 3), if they still havent decorated the christmas tree parents and children do so and follow along with a christmas eve dinner or party. its a time families reflect together and prepare for christmas day.

Christmas day Dec 25
Christmas day is a big celebration where the main focus is food. families wake up early in the morning and start preparing the christmas dinner. Around 9 families goes to church to thank god for the birth of our saviour. After this they proceed visiting family members in the neighbourhood to spread the blessings and remind them about christmas dinner. After christmas dinner they proceed opening gifts and spending time together.

Punda-X-Mas-Scene

New Year’s Day Jan 1
After the year ends with a big bang, the first day of the New Year is traditionally a time for family gatherings. (Stores are closed). For several days the streets are littered with the red paper wrappings of thousands of firecrackers.

Fuik Day Or Fuik Dag
Is a Curaçao’s yearly recurring boat party in Fuik Bay on the first Sunday of the year with boats, booze and DJ’s.
Since 2011 big DJ’s like Chuckie, Afrojack and others have played there, but who’s coming this year… On the first Sunday of the year (or the second if it’s bad timing) everything that floats comes to Fuik Bay for one big party on the water. Bring your inflatables and lots of booze because this is one big BYOB party on the water.

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Now that you have a feel of what to expect ask santa this year for the gift of a Caribbean Christmas. It’s easy to wrap, fits under any tree and comes with a lifetime of memories.