Christmas in Guadeloupe is celebrated with a public holiday every 25 December, as it is in a majority of countries around the world. This Christian festivity commemorates the birth of Jesus, and is part of a 22-28 day season in the Christian calendar known as Advent.
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Guadeloupe certainly has some unique Christmas traditions and Christmas dinner dishes that would surprise many an outsider. There are Christmas trees, but it’s more common to see lights wrapped around palm trees. Santa Claus and gift-giving are part of the celebration, but other things tend to dominate.
In the old days, people would go from door to door singing Creole-style Christmas carols. They would often be invited in for some treats as a reward. Today, crowds instead gather at designated “cribs” where they sing and celebrate. Today, the songs sung are often more secular and may have a pop-beat.
Many attend midnight mass and then head home for a festive meal. Others skip mass and eat earlier in the day. Ham is the most common main dish. Other commonly consumed Christmas foods in Grenada include blood sausage, pigeon-pea soup, yams, candied peels of the chadec fruit, and Christmas cake drizzled over with red-currant syrup. Many drink rum or a rum-containing drink like Ti punch to celebrate the holidays.
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