Tweet Like Pin

Easter in the Caribbean February 12, 2014

The Easter break is a great time to visit the Caribbean for a relaxing week or two on the beach, falling as it does in the middle of the dry season, and it’s also an opportunity to learn about the unique culture and history of this enchanting cluster of islands. Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, is the dominant faith throughout the Caribbean, so Easter is a very important time of year in the religious calendar, and naturally the islands have each developed their own unique Easter traditions... 

As you would expect, Good Friday is a solemn occasion, and it’s a day when you won’t find many locals on the beach. This isn’t just because everyone is at church: tradition holds that it’s bad luck to step in the ocean on the day of the Crucifixion, and some people will even tell you that you’ll turn into a fish if you go for a paddle on Good Friday! We’re yet to hear of this happening to any of our clients, so you’re probably safe, and that’s just as well… As in the UK, Good Friday is a day without red meat, so fish is certain to be on the menu. Indeed fish is an integral culinary ingredient throughout the Easter period; in Jamaica they serve up escoveitched snapper, fried and then marinated with hot peppers, while further afield, in Bermuda, the locals eat delicious codfish cakes, traditionally served with bananas.

Herman East End Fish Fry

Chocolate eggs don’t tend to feature in the Caribbean – perhaps because they melt too easily in the tropical heat! – but there is another, rather more unusual egg-based tradition, whereby an egg white is placed in a container of water on Maundy Thurday, and the coagulated egg white forms a pattern which is used to predict the future on Good Friday. Rather more appealing are Easter buns, eaten on many of the islands and similar to our own Hot Cross Buns, spiced with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, filled with currants, raisins and dry fruit, and normally eaten with a thick slice of Cheddar cheese.

Nutmeg

As well as the more traditional religious elements, there are various other festivals and events that take place at Easter depending on which part of the Caribbean you are in. In the Dominican Republic, as you would expect in a country with such a strong Spanish Catholic heritage, Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a big deal, and events culminate in a huge procession through the capital, Santo Domingo, on Easter Sunday. The procession starts after morning mass at the sixteenth century Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, the first cathedral ever to be built in the Americas. Carnival-style celebrations can also be found on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, where the lively four-day Easter Festival includes a Calypso Monarch competition and music from traditional Virgin Island ‘scratch’ bands.

Catedral Primada De America

Further south, in Trinidad, an effigy of Judas Iscariot called a Bobolee is traditionally constructed from old rags at Easter, and left outside to be beaten by local residents as punishment for his betrayal of Jesus, with cries of ‘Beat de Bobolee!’ ringing out as the hapless figure is ripped apart. More recently, this tradition has taken on more of a secular, topical character, with effigies of unpopular politicians or other public figures also turned into Bobolees, much like Guy Fawkes night in the UK. If you are travelling to Trinidad over Easter, it’s worth extending your stay and hopping over to sister island Tobago for the annual Tobago Goat Races, which are held on the following Tuesday in the village of Buccoo.

Goat Race

There are also more sedate ways to spend Easter in the Caribbean. Kite flying is very common at this time of year on islands such as Barbados and Jamaica, with competitions often held around the Easter weekend. The origins of this tradition are unclear, though some have suggested it represents Christ’s ascension to Heaven. Sailing is also a popular Easter pastime, with the annual Easter Regatta taking place off the tiny island of Bequia in the Grenadines. Or, if you’d rather just spend a week relaxing on a beach at a luxurious resort, then of course you are spoilt for choice - why not speak to our friendly team of Caribbean experts about booking your Easter break next year with Caribtours.

We Love Time In The Spa

Recent weather in
Saint Lucia

29°C

BodyHoliday

Saint Lucia

"One of our most popular hotels, BodyHoliday offers an unbeatable combination of sports, spa and relaxation."

"There’s a wonderfully sociable atmosphere at BodyHoliday - with so much going on here and hosted, social dining tables, it’s easy to get involved and make new friends."

"The resort’s annual September Solos is perfect for single travellers or groups of friends looking to enjoy an active holiday with like-minded people. Caribtours has exclusively low prices so do speak to us if you would like to know more."

"For that special occasion, upgrade to the one-of-a-kind Penthouse Suite, with its own Kinesis gym, Hammam spa suite, exclusive butler service and uninterrupted views over Cariblue Bay."

"Call us for details of speciality holidays at BodyHoliday, such as Jive June, Wellfit Families (July, August) and Octoba-Yoga."

Read On

Call one of our specialists to help you create your dream holiday at BodyHoliday

0207751 0660

Create your perfect holiday

Choose your region

Choose your region

Choose your region

CALL BACK REQUEST

SUBMITTED

A member of our team will call you back shortly.

Close 
Close 

BROCHURE REQUEST

We'd love to send you our latest brochure, simply fill in your details below and we'll send one out straight away.

Send 
Close 

Thanks, your brochure is on its way

Close 

QUOTE REQUEST

If you would like to receive a quote via email, please use the form below. Alternatively, you can call us on 020 3393 8795.

Caribtours would love to inspire you with our expert knowledge, insider tips and exclusive offers, as well as ensuring you are first to hear about the latest luxury travel news.

Send 
Close 

Thanks, we have received your request and will be in touch shortly

Close 

SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe to the Caribtours newsletter here.


Send 
Close

Thanks for subscribing

Close 

CALLBACK REQUEST

Enter your phone number and we will get in touch with you


Send