Christmas in Turks and Caicos 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 the British Overseas Territory of Turks and Caicos Islands, standard British and American Christmas traditions have certainly had much influence. But there is also no doubt that Turks and Caicos has its own special way of celebrating the season.
The annual Conch Festival in November is the unofficial opening of the holiday season in Turks and Caicos. It occurs on different dates in different localities. It celebrates local culture and cuisine, especially dishes made from the conch snail such as conch chowder.
As Christmas grows nearer, you will see lights going up on buildings, hear carollers in the streets, and notice the holiday shopping rush. Many attend church or mass on or around Christmas Day, and everyone gathers with family for food and fellowship.
On the day after Christmas, Boxing Day, there is a Maskanoo parade in certain locales. This is a costumed parade that mixes African culture with the attire of colonial ballrooms. There is a Maskanoo event in Provo by the salt ponds once worked by African slaves and along Grace Bay on the island of Providenciales.
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