You can’t say you’ve experienced Christmas in Barbados unless you’ve been to Queen’s Park to watch the fashion show with a difference. The Christmas Day celebration in Bridgetown has been a focus for young and old Bajans, all dressed up in their finest clothes, for more than 110 years.
Stretch limo - delivered in style. Photo by Barbara Secher Greenidge
The Band of the Royal Barbados Police Force usually strikes up at 7am for a couple of hours and other performers join in. Many of the suits and dresses are home-made and families are colour co-ordinated for maximum effect. For many Bajans, Queen’s Park on the morning of December 25th is what Christmas is all about.
Lady in red. Photo by Barbara Secher Greenidge
The aim of Christmas in Queen's Park is not merely to show up or show off but to be unique and bring some personal flair. Rich and bright The outfits are in all colours. There are whites and bright reds to rich blues and deep purples. Even the youngest children take part. If you are here for Christmas, you won’t want to miss it. While you might want to go smartly dressed, locals will not expect you to match them in their finery. An ancient millenial If you’ve got time, don’t forget to check out the Queen’s Park baobab. This huge specimen has a circumference of 25 metres (it would take at least 15 tree huggers to give it a good squeeze) and is thought to be more than 1,000 years old. How a tree from West Africa ended up in the centre of Bridgetown 500 years before the Europeans got here is anybody’s guess. (The tree is there all year, not just at Christmas.) Pigeon peas at Christmas If you can’t make it to Coconut Court this Christmas, we’ve got a very special seasonal recipe for you to try at home. Jug Jug has been a mainstay of the Bajan Christmas lunch for generations. Its main ingredient is pigeon peas – a lentil-like pulse originating in India and now a staple throughout the world.
Ingredients: 250 grams each of pork and beef. 1 hot pepper. 500 grams of pigeon peas. 1 tablespoon each of thyme, parsley and chives. 1 onion. 125 grams of guinea corn. 70 grams of butter.
Directions: Cut up meat, chop thyme, parsley and chives. Cook pork for 20 minutes then add beef, season with salt if fresh meat is used. Add pepper, peas and cook for 30 minutes or until peas are soft. Strain and reserve stock. Mince the meat finely. Add peas and pound in a mortar or put in an electric blender. In a pot, add thyme, parsley, chives and onion to reserved liquid and boil for 5 minutes. Add guinea corn slowly and stir briskly for 10 minutes. Serve with parsley garnish.