New Year Traditions in the Caribbean

beach fireworkd show

new year fireworks ©Šarūnas Burdulis/Flickr

Caribbeans await the New Year with just as much excitement as the rest of the world. The New Year marks the peak touristic season and this might add some extra stress, but let us not forget that the Caribbean nations are known for their laid-back culture and hot parties.

Spending the New Year in the Caribbean can have numerous advantages: not only you will begin the new year in a marvelous tropical setting, but you can also get a taste of the New Year traditions in the Caribbean. Depending on your location, you’ll get the chance to see and taste various customs and traditional foods, but one thing that all Caribbean tourists will enjoy are the fabulous New Year parties. So let’s take a look at what Caribbean people do, where they go and what they eat around the New Year:

New Year Customs

The Caribbean are very diverse in terms of religion, local languages and cultures. So it’s hard to point to some New Year ritual or manifestation which is entirely original. One common tradition in Caribbean is the Old Year’s Nightparty – or what in other parts of the world is called ‘The New Year’s Eve’.


new year fun ©jthetzel?flickr

The New Year is usually associated with a rich dinner. Few days after the New Year, the Spanish Caribbean celebrates the religious holiday of the Three Kings, when you might witness small processions and taste the specially made cakes.

New Year Food

It’s hard to guess what tasty dishes and drinks will await for you on the New Year’s day. Restaurants usually prefer an international selection of food or a cold buffet, as well as the ubiquitous champagne.

festive food

Caribbean meal ©puroticorico/Flickr

Rice, pork roast and black eyed peas will make the main ingredient of the New Year’s meal for many Caribbean homes.  Others might just prefer to go out and have a barbecue, in which fish, fresh local fruits and rum are the main guests.

New Year Parties

As I said above, the New Year in the Caribbean is usually associated with the party on the Old Year Night. It’s almost impossible to avoid attending a party or at least watching the traditional fireworks showon the 31st of December.

beach fireworkd show

new year fireworks ©Šarūnas Burdulis/Flickr

Some might choose to spend this night on the beach, around a big bonfire, or book a luxurious dinner cruise. Many tourists will go to a restaurant or club, where there will usually be some music, festive food and champagne.

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