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. This ham is bought with pennies saved up during 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 was once a center for joyful Christmas celebrations. 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 by coconut and served with ham. This tradition is only offered in the Virgin Islands. This dish is often served on Christmas morning with ham. The Virgin Islands’ Christmas traditions are diverse, and they vary by family.
The Virgin Islands host a Christmas Eve community market. This event features food, street dancing, and crafts. 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. Joyce, her mother-in law, cooks traditional Christmas meals for her family. Her family often eats turkey with dressing, potato stuffing, and ham on Christmas Eve. Old Years Day dinner is also possible with the help of a ham bone.
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 go house to house singing popular 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. However, these choirs began to fade away during the war years and the late 1930s. Nevertheless, some groups have revived this tradition in recent times. Today, choirs from both schools and churches perform in local settings and churches on Christmas Eve.
In exchange for sweet bread, guavaberry juice, and ham, locals used to invite carolers into their homes. 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. With beautiful beaches and the warm, welcoming Caribbean climate, a vacation here can be a wonderful getaway. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the festive season, and a chartered cruise is a great way to experience the islands as a whole.
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, and twigs are also useful as fishing poles. In the old days, Virgin Islanders used these trees to decorate their homes. They would take the trees from the wild and bring them inside 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 decorated and displayed at select bastions of local culture. The Inkberry tree was used by the Whim Great House in St. Croix before Hurricane Irma. In recent years, the Long Look Heritage Living Museum has also decorated a Christmas tree with inkberries.
Many families still use inkberry plants as Christmas decorations. They are fond of the tradition and the memories of past Christmases in the US Virgin Islands. As a symbol of goodwill and love, the British Virgin Islands released four stamps in 2005 celebrating the holidays. The stamps featured poinsettia, Christmas trees, and snow on a 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. They can grow up to 20 ft in height and grow between 5-6 inches per day. In late spring and early summer, the branches are covered in yellow flowers. By Christmas, the stalks will be brown. Spray paint them with gold or silver, and then prop them up using rocks.
Century plants are native to the US Virgin Islands and the American desert. They only bloom once in 100 years, hence their name. Botanists believe they will flower in the northerly climes every fifty to sixty year. This is one of the reasons why Delores Sgambati says she has heard of the plant’s name. The flowers provide nectar and food for bees and hummingbirds. The blooms last about a week and the plants hum with activity.