If you want to decorate your home for Christmas in the US Virgin Islands, you’ll find a variety of traditions unique to the islands. Among them are traditions like caroling and giving hams. The tradition was that the poorest families on the islands would be given a ham by their neighbor, employer, or shopkeeper. Even the local grocers would give away hams at Christmastime.
Traditions of Christmas Ham Giving
Tradition dictates that the US Virgin Islands’ poorest families receive a huge bone-in ham for Christmas. The pennies used to buy the ham are saved throughout the year. The ham is then given to a neighbor, shopkeeper, or employer as a gift. In addition, some grocers used to give away hams to their customers.
The Virgin Islands used to be a hub of joyful celebrations for Christmas. The vibrant spirit of the community was the hallmark of the Virgin Islands’ Christmas celebrations in the 1950s. The festive spirit has diminished in the modern era. The traditional gathering of people from different villages is now a joke, as most residents live off-island. Many people have abandoned the traditional way of celebrating the season and giving thanks.
Virgin Islanders traditionally make sweetbread for Christmas morning. The sweetbread is sweetened with coconut and served with ham. This tradition is only offered in the Virgin Islands. This dish is often eaten on Christmas morning with ham. The Virgin Islands’ Christmas traditions are diverse, and they vary by family.
On Christmas Eve, the Virgin Islands celebrate a community market. This event features street dancing, crafts, and food. This market is held on the weekend before Christmas and Christmas Eve. Many vendors sell small toys and firecrackers as well as balloons. Bright hats are worn by vendors at some markets, which often feature large accordion-stylebells.
The sweetbread is made by Julie Duke, a native Virgin Islander who grew up in St. Thomas and has been living in the US Virgin Islands since 2000. She has a mother-in-law, Joyce, who cooks a traditional Christmas dinner for the family. In addition to the ham, her family often eats turkey with dressing and potato stuffing for Christmas Eve. A ham bone is also saved for Old Years Day supper.
Traditions of caroling
While decorating your home for Christmas, you may want to incorporate traditions of caroling from the US Virgin Islands. In the past, carolers would travel from house to house singing Christmas carols. The homeowners would usually welcome these carolers with food. In the past, there were choirs that would form in every neighborhood and perform from one house to another. These choirs faded away in the 1930s and 1940s. However, some groups have revived the tradition in recent years. Today, choirs from both schools and churches perform in local settings and churches on Christmas Eve.
Traditionally, locals would invite carolers to their homes in exchange for guavaberry rum, ham, and sweet bread. Even the most poor household could have at least one piece Christmas ham. They could either purchase it with pennies that they had saved throughout the year or get a gift from the shopkeeper. Some shops would give away hams to loyal customers.
The US Virgin Islands are a beautiful place to celebrate the holiday season. A vacation here is a great way to enjoy beautiful beaches and the warm, welcoming Caribbean environment. There are many ways to enjoy the festive season. A chartered cruise is one of the best ways to see the entire island.
The inkberry tree is a popular Christmas decoration in the US Virgin Islands. This spiny, robust tree can grow up to 20 feet. Native to the Caribbean, the inkberry is well-adapted to the climate. Its leaves, branches, twigs, and branches can also be used as fishing poles. These trees were used by Virgin Islanders to decorate their homes in the past. They would cut them down in the wild and carefully bring them into their homes. Then they would decorate them with colored tissue and small candles.
The inkberry grows on the slopes of hills around the island. Its leaves, berries and needles are displayed in select bastions of local culture. The Inkberry tree was used by the Whim Great House in St. Croix before Hurricane Irma. The Long Look Heritage Living Museum also decorated a Christmas tree using inkberries in recent years.
Some families still use inkberry trees as part of their Christmas decorations. They treasure the tradition and the fond memories of past Christmases in US Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands issued four stamps celebrating the holidays in 2005 as a symbol for goodwill and love. The stamps also featured Christmas trees, poinsettia, and snow on the mountain.
Inkberry and century plants are two of the island’s indigenous plants. Inkberry plants can be found all over the islands, while agave plants can only be found in the eastern part of the island. Locals will often decorate century plant stalks with crepe paper, fabric, or small candy by putting them in rock-filled containers. Some people even spray paint their century plant stalks gold.
You can use century plants to decorate your Christmas tree in the US Virgin Islands. The plants grow five to six inches per day and can grow up to 20 feet in height. Their branches bloom with yellow flowers in late spring and early summer. The stalks will turn brown by Christmas. To make them look festive, you can spray paint them gold or silver and prop them up with rocks.
Century plants are native to the US Virgin Islands and the American desert. The name comes from the fact that they only bloom once every 100 years. Botanists believe they will flower in the northerly climes every fifty to sixty year. Delores Sgambati claims she first heard the name of the plant because of this. The flowers provide food and nectar to bees and hummingbirds. The blooms last for about a week, and the plants hum with activity.
Hi there! I’m Kate, the author of The Pretty Party Shoppe. When I’m not busy blogging about everything party, you can find me throwing a shindig or two myself. I believe every event should be uniquely beautiful and reflect the personality and style of the hostess.
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