Christmas in Martinique 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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In Martinique, many French Christmas traditions live on with a local Caribbean twist. There is a very old Christmas tradition in Martinique called “chante noel”. It involves friends and strangers alike gathering at some designated public place to sing Christmas carols together. Sometimes, it takes place in a private home.
Food plays a big part in every Martinique Christmas. Local Caribbean rum looms large, be it in rum cake or in “shrubb”, a concoction made of rum, orange peels, and lime juice. Pork stew, ham, peas, yams, black pudding, and French chocolates are all traditional Christmas meal menu-items in Martinique.
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