Easter is one of the best times to be in the Caribbean. The weather is perfect for hanging out at the beach or river and with the long holiday weekend, it is a great time to get out and have some fun with your family and friends.
If you are spending time in the Caribbean this Easter, you may want to indulge in some of the region’s unique, fun and at times, strange, Easter traditions.
Here are our top 9 Easter traditions practiced in the Caribbean.
Beat a Good Friday Bobolee
In Trinidad on Good Friday beating effigies hanging from fences and in public spaces is a practice. The beating of the Bobolee is a Good Friday tradition that originally symbolised the beating of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus Christ. Today, people make Bobolees to represent politicians, public figures or anything that is unpopular.
Predict Your Future with an Egg
In Barbados and Jamaica, you can predict your future with an egg. A fresh egg is broken and placed in a container on Holy Thursday. On Good Friday, whatever shape the coagulated egg takes is used to predict your future.
Fly a kite
Across the Caribbean, Easter is synonymous with kite flying. In some islands, there are kite flying competitions, but you don’t have to compete to enjoy this activity that is suited to the young and old. You can either make your own kite or buy one already made.
Avoid the Beach on Good Friday
Yes, you are in the Caribbean and the sun is beating down on you making you long for a cool dip in some pristine blue water. But, in many islands, bathing in the sea on Good Friday is a big no. According to a long-standing myth, bathing in the sea on Good Friday turns you into a fish. However, you are free to hit the waves for the rest of the long weekend.
Watch a Tree Bleed
People in Barbados and Jamaica claim that on Good Friday, a tree called the Physic nut tree bleeds red sap. Believed to be the same wood Jesus’ cross was made from, the Physic tree normally bleeds white sap when cut. But if you cut the tree at noon on Good Friday, the sap is said to be red like the blood of Christ.
Hot cross buns, made with raisins and dried fruit and adorned with a cross made out of frosting, is one of the popular food items during Easter in the Caribbean. In Jamaica, the buns are eaten with cheese and it is certainly a feature at breakfast and dinner tables across the region.
Celebrate the Rara in Haiti
Rara is a holiday celebrated during Easter week in Haiti. The celebration includes a parade with songs, traditional instruments and costumes.
Party Easter Monday
Easter Monday is when everyone party and the Jamaica Carnival events get in full swing. Carnival weeks begins on Easter Sunday and the celebration continues to the following Sunday with a big street parade of costumes.
Take in Folklore in Curacao
On Easter Monday local folklore groups wear traditional costumes and parade through the streets of Punda and Otrobanda in Curacao. The groups play traditional musical instruments as they dance through the streets. The festivities are tied to the end of the harvest.