Spending the Christmas holidays in Martinique you are guaranteed to enjoy the warmth of the sun but also to benefit from a warm population. Christianity being the majority religion on the archipelago, Christmas is an important event for the locals. The day is celebrated in joy and good mood, as in the whole world, but with some specificities giving it a particular charm which you must absolutely soak up if you have the opportunity to come at this period.
Just for the climate, you have to come to Martinique in December to have a very pleasant Christmas. Contrary to the metropolis where the period rhymes with cold, snow and greyness, on the island, it is quite different! It is warm, temperatures are close to 30°C, the air is dry, the sky is blue and the sun is shining. Forget the snow, come and celebrate Christmas on the white sand, swap coats for shirts and t-shirts!
One of the most important Christmas traditions in Martinique is the Chanté Nwel.
Between All Saints' Day and Christmas, the drums and sounds of Creole music rise up in the skies of the island's towns and villages. Vigils are organized with families or friends to sing and dance in public squares, marketplaces, shopping centers or businesses to bring joy, gaiety and sharing to passers-by, tourists or locals. The hymns are revisited in Creole, in a kind of festive gospel to offer an unforgettable experience. The "little daddy Christmas" version in Martinique is a must listen.
At Christmas, Martinique has in addition to its musical folklore, traditional meals. In mainland France, for Christmas Eve, we usually eat foie gras, oysters, scallops, salmon, as a main course, a poultry, like turkey with chestnuts and for dessert a log. In Martinique other flavors are proposed.
In Martinique, the Christmas Eve meal is quite different from the one in Metropolitan France and it is the pork that is honored.
The traditional Christmas meal in Martinique starts with the aperitif during which a spicy red pudding or a salted pork pie is served with different punches (coconut or peanut), rum or Schrubb.
For the main course, sweet and sour is the order of the day with the famous and original caramelized ham with pineapple. Among the most popular dishes is also the unavoidable, rich and tasty pig stew. To accompany this dish, we also serve pigeon peas, a legume that is cooked in a similar way to lentils and that is only found on the plates at the end of the year. Other typical dishes of the island, can also be honored as gratins: christophines, plantains or yams.
Finally, for dessert, the log is also out on the Christmas table. However, it takes on exotic accents: coconut, passion fruit, lychee, etc. But it is also the occasion to taste other local specialities like the hidden loves, the white eating coconut or the flambéed bananas.
No Christmas Eve is complete without a schrubb. It is the Christmas drink par excellence on the island, it is unavoidable. This characteristic liquor of the traditional meal of December 24 is a punch macerated with dried citrus peels (orange, lemon...). Appreciated for their bitterness, the peels give a particular flavor to the rum that it arranges. Generally, the peels of citrus fruits are dried as of October to be prepared in December for the festivals. Come and discover the island of flowers as you have never seen it before during the holiday season. To move easily between cities, find our cars for rent in Martinique and our Europcar tips!
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