Kris Kringle and Father Christmas are other names for Santa Claus. Similarly, what are Jamaica's Christmas customs? Christmas Day begins with ackee and saltfish, breadfruit, and boiled bananas, a typical Jamaican breakfast. Church is usually attended by families. May flowers are used instead of candles on the altar.
Christmas carols are sung at church services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A special message from the Pope is read from the papal throne on Christmas Eve. It is called the Jubilee of Mercy and it will last until Easter Sunday 2020.
The Christmas season starts after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November). Traditionally, Americans open their Christmas presents on the evening of December 24th. But you can also start early if you want to!
Jamaicans like to give gifts during Christmas time. They may give you something as simple as a piece of candy or as big as a house! If you do not want any gifts, that is ok too. Everyone loves getting gifts anyway!
You should let your parents take you to church on Christmas Day. That is a traditional Jamaican thing to do. Even though Christianity is popular in Jamaica, many people still go to church on Christmas Day because they believe it is good luck to walk through the streets with red shoes.
Jamaicans observe the holiday by attending church, giving presents with family members, and meeting for a great dinner. Christmas Day dinner, Jamaica's largest feast, comprises chicken, oxtail, curry goat, roast ham, rice, and gungo peas. Gungo peas, a Jamaican Christmas speciality, often mature around December. They are dried over firewood or charcoal and then soaked in water to rehydrate them before cooking.
Christmas celebrations in Jamaica begin with opening of gifts on Christmas Eve. The most important gift is that given by God to all people, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ. On this night families gather to share a meal and give gifts to one another.
In Jamaica, churches celebrate Christmas with music, dancing, and drama. There are no Santa Claus costumes at Christmas time in Jamaica. Children make paper flowers and cookies to place under the tree. Parents also put toys into plastic bags and wrap them up as gifts for their children. These are called "toy boxes."
At the end of November and beginning of December, stores sell Christmas trees. A pine tree will usually be cut down from a plantation where it has been growing for several years. The wood is very valuable so only grown trees with strong straight trunks are used for Christmas trees. The fresh green tree is wrapped in newspaper and placed on display in front of houses decorated for the season with wreaths, lights, and food.
Despite the absence of snow and chimneys, Santa Claus continues to visit Jamaica, and gift-giving is part of the custom. People bake cookies and wrap them in foil for Santa or leave them under the Christmas tree.
Santa first came to Jamaica in 1934 when he arrived on a Caribbean cruise ship. The Jamaican people had painted a big red wagon for him to ride in and he gave out gifts that year. Since then, he has become a part of Christmas on Jamaica, traveling throughout the island and visiting children in their homes.
There are some differences between how Santa operates in America and in Jamaica. For example, there is no shopping list available at any store that matches what kids write on their letters to Santa. Instead, they create poems and stories about what they want for Christmas. These go into a book where all the good deeds people do are read by someone who works with the elves at the North Pole. If you have done something nice, then it will be included in your child's letter to Santa.
In addition to writing letters, kids in Jamaica also leave gifts under the Christmas tree. Families usually spend several weeks preparing for this event by buying gifts and decorating the house.