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Our trivia column tests your knowledge of the Caribbean’s Christmas traditions

  • Photo by Stephen Smith/Alamy Stock Photo

Caribbean Christmas trivia

As the year winds down, across the Caribbean we start to prepare for the Christmas season, a celebration of family and friends, full of goodwill, delicious food, and time-honoured customs — even more essential when times are hard. How much do you know about Christmas and Old Year’s traditions across the islands? Test yourself with our quiz — the answers are below!

1. Which Caribbean island is named for a long-ago saint whose December feast day is traditionally marked as a festival of light?

St Martin
St Kitts
St Lucia
St Vincent

2. Which of these is NOT a common instrument played to accompany parang, Trinidad’s Spanish-language Christmas music?

Box bass

3. Parang is also the name for traditional Christmas music in which of these islands?

Puerto Rico
Sint Eustatius

4. What legume is a staple of Jamaican Christmas cuisine, served stewed?

Red beans
Black-eyed peas
Butter beans
Gungo peas

5. The Cuban Festival of las Parrandas de Remedios on 24 December centres on which of these?

Hot-air balloons
Choral singing
Bathing in a special river

6. In St Vincent and the Grenadines, Christmas season festivities extend across how many mornings?


7. The traditional Christmas Eve tipple in Haiti is rum flavoured with what spice?


8. What of the following is a traditional character in Jamaica’s Jonkonnu masquerade?

Actor boy
Red devil
King of the castle
Old Mary

9. St Kitts Sugar Mas, celebrated over Christmas, features masqueraders with headdresses often decorated with which of these?

Mountain palm leaves
Coconut husks
Miniature boats
Peacock feathers


1 St Lucia; the feast of St Lucy is on 13 December 
2 Trumpet 
3 Carriacou 
4 Gungo peas, known elsewhere as pigeon peas, Congo peas, or gandules 
5 Fireworks 
6 Nine 
7 Anise 
8 Actor boy 
9 Peacock feathers 

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