Christmas on the Islands
Grenada serenades holiday travelers with steel band Christmas songs
When I first mentioned my decision to visit the islands of Grenada for Christmas, everyone was rather surprised. They made comments like "there would be no snow," or "where will you find a mistletoe?" I listened to all of their remarks, but I was determined to experience Christmas in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, so I booked my flight.
From the moment I arrived at the airport, I knew my decision was the right one. All of the passengers were greeted with the sweet sound of a steel band music playing Christmas songs. In addition, slices of delicious fruit cake and a choice of sorrel drink or spicy rum punch were served. Since it was somewhat early in the day, I chose the sorrel, and what a surprise I got. It was like cranberry without the bitterness, an absolute taste of heaven.
After this, I got really excited to see what Christmas on the islands was really all about. My Grenadian friend decided that we should go to Carriacou to experience the Parang Festival. The performers used mainly stringed instruments and expressed lyrics that made the crowd roar with laughter. The topics were based on past and current events happening on the island. It was quite an experience.
As Christmas drew nearer, we went serenading through the villages. We sang Christmas carols and local Christmas hymns. Everyone loved it and graced us with hot cocoa tea, salted ham, and what everyone referred to as "bully bakes."
So although there was no mistletoe and no snowman, I got a taste of that heavenly sorrel drink, fruit cake, salted ham, bully bakes, parang music, and local serenading. I wouldn’t have traded that experience for the world. Island people really do know how to have a great time.