Easter in the Caribbean
Traveling in April might mean you’ll miss out on Easter festivities in the United States — unless you are going to the Caribbean. Christianity, especially Catholicism, is dominant in the Caribbean and some islands are very devout. Easter Sunday in the Caribbean focuses more on family and less revelry like the traditional pre-Lenten holidays. But with that comes a warm, welcoming environment that most families are more than happy to experience for their Easter.
Going to Morning Mass in Dominican Republic
There are parades throughout the Dominican Republic during Easter week, especially on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. There is a world-famous procession, referred to as the Samana Santa Procession, that stars at the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor. Costumed participants hold up crosses and figures that represent Jesus. This celebration is one of the biggest celebrations of the year for this region. In fact, this celebration is taken so seriously by the locals that some water sports could actually be considered bad taste during the Holy Week.
The Easter Festival at Virgin Gorda
In the British Virgin Islands, travelers can find the Easter Festival. This carnival-like celebration features Calypso dancing, scratch bands, competitions, and entertainment that spans throughout the night. The festival runs for four days, overlapping Easter weekend. On Easter Monday, travelers can find a street parade in Spanish Town to finish off the weekend of festivities.
Fortune Telling Eggs in Jamaica
Eggs are important in Jamaica. But instead of hiding eggs for the children to find throughout the island, eggs are used as a way to predict the future. On Holy Thursday, an egg white is placed in a container of water and the pattern that forms is said to predict the future of the world.
During the week of Easter in Trinidad, an effigy depicting Judas Iscariot — referred to as Bobolee — is made from rags and then left out for residents to come by and beat. This symbolizes the punishment of Judas’ betrayal of Christ. As the Bobolee is beaten, travelers will hear cheers and cries from the crowds. Sometimes the Bobolee is made to look like local political figures, the unpopular ones at least, to add a political touch to this holiday tradition.
The Beach and Good Friday
While some islands welcome beach activity over Easter, there is a tradition that all Caribbean’s keep in mind on Good Friday. Legend states that if a person steps into the water on Good Friday, they will turn into a fish. Others believe it is bad luck to go to the beach, but in the Bahamas going to the beach is an island tradition.
No matter where a person goes in the Caribbean for Easter, there is certain to be a local celebration. From festivals to parades to interesting cultural traditions, travelers will be welcomed by the locals and given an Easter celebration of a lifetime.