Christmas in Guadeloupe Archipelago
Christmas is just around the corner and this is the right opportunity to let you discover how we celebrate it in Guadeloupe Archipelago.
The festive period of Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most famous in Guadeloupe Archipelago. From Chanté Nwèl (Carol singing), flavourful dishes, sweet alcoholic drinks to welcoming people, there is no way you cannot enjoy yourself.
Here are some of the standard foods/appetizers: creole black pudding, pineapple ham, savoury pastries (meat, chicken, saltfish) and coconut specialities. For the rum-based cocktails commonly called punch, we drink shrubb, coconut punch or Ti-punch for the most adventurous.
During this period, you can clearly notice how joyful and excited people are. They open their houses and welcome family members, friends and neighbours who desire a Christmas appetizer or drink.
Chanté Nwèl are part of Guadeloupe Archipelago’s culture since the 17th century. Basically, people are meeting to sing together and share a meal. Originally, Chanté Nwèl was a family and friends get-together. Nowadays, there are more and more large scale Chanté Nwèl for a wider public.
The cantique which is a booklet, where you can find every song lyrics is a must-have. Indeed, because you will sing all night long, it’s better to have it and be involved. Although most of the songs are in French, there is a personal Creole touch or version for each of them. In Guadeloupe Archipelago, we like to celebrate with good Music so we use the ka and other instruments throughout the entire Chanté Nwèl.
Nwèl Kakado which takes place in Vieux-Habitants township is a traditional Christmas fair during the month of December. You will discover various information about a proper Christmas in Guadeloupe Archipelago. For instance, the nativity scene or traditional crayfish dishes are some of them to name a few.
Chanté Nwèl start the first week of Advent until the 25th of December.
Christmas markets are quite common in Guadeloupe Archipelago as well. It is the right time to buy ready-made traditional foods and drinks.
Like anywhere in the world, Christmas day is a family and close friends get-together to share a tasty and hearty meal. In Guadeloupe Archipelago, you will certainly start with an appetizer composed of the famous coconut punch or shrubb and a piece of pineapple ham. Many people in the archipelago love spicy foods. This is the reason why you will always find a hot chilli jar on the table as well.
Then, the starter usually includes meat, fish or seafood pastries, saltfish fritters, creole black pudding and a colourful salad. The traditional main dish is some pork stew with pigeon pea, yam or/and white rice. Finally, for dessert there will be some Yule log or coconut flan. Obviously, the bottle of rum, slices of lime and cane sugar or syrup are always on the table to make as many Ti-punch as you want while eating.
Guadeloupe Archipelago is definitely a warm place to spend Christmas; it is worthwhile to try it at least once during your lifetime. You won’t be disappointed, especially if you are a food lover and like having fun.