Celebrating Christmas in Curacao
Celebrating Christmas in Curacao is really something special. It is celebrating Christmas on a tropical island with 30 degrees Celsius (86°F) outside temperature.
If you come from America or Europe where it is cold and you are used to Santa riding his sleigh in snow and Rudolf leading, your first Christmas in Curaçao will be a very unique experience.
How we celebrated Christmas back then
Let me tell you how we celebrated Christmas with our family of 11 children in Curaçao. That is representative for how our family, friends, acquaintances, also my husband, his family and our neighborhood celebrated and still celebrate Christmas
Celebrating Christmas at our home in Curaçao with 11 children: preparation starts in October. My mother bought pieces of fabric to have dresses made for us. We had a taylor in the street who made clothes for our family. You have to be early because the taylor got very busy with many assignments during the Christmas period. In addition to new dresses, we also got new shoes, new underwear and the older girls got a hat for the Church services. Back then you went to mass at Christmas with a hat on or a veil. Boys of course also got new clothes and shoes. Everyone is put in the new outfit for Christmas.
During that period between October to December, the rehearsals of the “aguinaldos groups” have already started for the performances during the Christmas season. These are singing groups consisting of ladies who sing Christmas songs (usually in Spanish) and gentlemen who play the instruments. Certain dance steps are performed with the songs. The aquinaldo groups find their origin in Venezuela, but here on Curacao it has become a tradition during the Christmas period. The aguinaldo groups perform everywhere with their Christmas songs and give the months of November and December a festive Christmas feeling.
My father went every year to “Kooyman” a hardware store to buy paint because the house had to be repainted every year. The oldest children in the family all helped with repainting the house. As children, we looked forward to preparing for Christmas Day. There was a huge solidarity and we lived towards it, because we all know that we soon will be celebrating, eating, drinking beverages as much as you want.
The last week of November the Christmas tree is purchased and the balloons and decorations are brought down from the attic. Those pine trees are imported to Curaçao and kept in the cooling. You have to be early to get the best pine trees. If you are too late, chances are that you will get a pine tree with a lot of bare spots and nobody wants that.
The tree is decorated with balloons, lights, angel hair and even artificial snow in spray cans are used to spray “snow” on the trees.
A Christmas tree is nowadays also set up on the top of Christoffelberg our highest elevation of 372m. From the 16th of December until the 6 of January it can be seen also by night when the lights are lid.
Cleansing & decorations
The house receives a thorough cleansing. The floor is waxed and polished. The special Christmas curtains and the Christmas decorations are hung up. Christmas decorations and Christmas lights in and around the house are done in many neighborhoods on Curacao.
In Willemstad you will see them in parks, near large buildings and important junctions. Houses compete in contests with each
which is the best decorated house. Sometimes prizes are awarded for the most beautifully decorated house. Christmas is a celebration of light, music, drinks and food.
Food & beverages
People on Curacao usually start preparing the food beginning of December. At home in Curaçao we made everything ourselves: Ajaca, sult (pig’s ear in “pica” /hot pepper vinagraite), “Pekele” brine (salmon in “pica” /hot pepper vinagraite), “pia di ham” (Ham leg), “pan de jamon”(bread filled with salty ham), “poche crema” (alcoholic beverage from eggs). You will have these amuses to eat in between and to offer friends and neighbors to acquaintances, family members who come to visit.
The main course in our home usually consists of: tortoise, rabbit, goat meat, turkey or stuffed chicken.
But also a special soup we call “Sopi di mondongo” which is a soup made from diced tripe slow-cooked with vegetable, bell peppers, onions, carrots, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, cilantro (coriander), garlic and root vegetables.
All of these delicious food is prepared very festively with plums, raisins, olives and capers. Sometimes wine or liquor are added to the food giving it an exquisite taste. This is usually the typical Christmas meal.
You can also book a dinner at a restaurant, go to a dinner show or pay a private chef to cook for you. You do have to book this quite early in advance. Families often organize a Christmas dinner. Together they share the costs. Then the 24 December evening it is served and eaten together after the Christmas mass.
If you book your Christmas holiday with us at Villa Sea Paradise Curacao you can hire a private chef for such an occasion. Planning and booking your Christmas holiday with us is easy, you can arrange it all online. Look at our website: https://villaseaparadisecuracao.com under extra service for more information.
Mass on Christmas day
The mass on Christmas Day is very important. Usually 4 church services are organized. There is a mass in the evening on 24 December and 3 church services on 25 December: in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening.
There are many events on Curacao during the Christmas period. There is the Santa run on December 21, which is fun to watch.
Christmas markets are organized throughout December. There are some well-known Christmas markets:
- Christmas market Jan Thiel,
- Christmas market Pietermaai Distrikt,
- Christmas market Chobolobo,
- Christmas market Landhuis Ascencion and
- Christmas market Skalo Village.
At the Christmas markets music is played, people are dancing, food is sold and of course you can buy nice Christmas gifts and items.
Of course you can keep chilling in your holiday home and let the activities pass you by and hire your private Chef for a nice meal in the privacy of your holiday home. Enjoy a delicious meal at the beach with your feet in the sand and the sun burning on your back.
Interested in staying with us? Contact us for more information about our oceanfront villa, one of the nicest and close to town! See the availability of Curacao vacation rentals: Villa Sea Paradise Curacao!
December 12, 2019,
Villa Sea Paradise Curacao
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