St. Lucia is an island in the Caribbean that makes for a scenic and relaxing getaway year round. It’s a great place to escape winter’s cold temperatures and enjoy a terrific vacation.
Although you may not get a white Christmas in St. Lucia, there are plenty of seasonal activities to enjoy. Here are a few you will want to check out during your trip.
The Festival of Lights
St. Lucia’s Festival of Lights takes place mid December and it honors the island’s namesake, Saint Lucy, the Saint of Light. Locals and visitors make colorful lanterns which are lit in the evening. More skilled craftsmen submit their lanterns for the competition. The event ends with a fireworks display.
There are plenty of holiday activities that take place during the festival. What’s more, locals have their homes decorated so the entire island is awash in light.
Eat a Traditional St. Lucia Holiday Meal
It is traditional for St. Lucia residents to get together for large feasts. These typically take place later in the evening and feature island dishes like roast lamb, turkey, locally harvest yams and sweet potatoes and plantains.
The drinks and desserts are what really sets the meal apart. St. Lucians enjoy sorrel, a bight red spiced drink made from the blooms of the sorrel plant. They drink this after dinner along with a native Christmas pudding that includes dried currants and fruits soaked in red wine. The dessert is boiled until it achieves a dark color.
Another popular Christmas dessert is St. Lucian black cake which features a mixture of ginger, nuts, prunes, cherries and other fruits that are soaked in red wine and rum months in advance.
While you may be able to enjoy these treats at one of St. Lucia’s fine restaurants, you can also take advantage of the kitchen in your suite and make it yourself.
Burst the Bamboo
Another St. Lucia tradition is to burst the bamboo. The custom involved stuffing the hollow end of a bamboo cane with kerosene and rags. When the wick lights, there is a loud explosion.
It’s similar to firecrackers on the fourth of July only it starts in early December and goes throughout the Christmas season. It makes for celebratory pops all over the island.
Take a Spa Day
St. Lucia is known for its relaxing and high-quality spa treatments. While there are many locations where you can treat yourself, you will definitely want to take a trip to the Rainforest Spa at Jalousie Plantation. They make use of what’s available on the island to create special treatments like bamboo massages, manicures and pedicure. Ayurvedic and holistic treatments are also included in their service menu.
Jouvert (Christmas Day)
When in St. Lucia, you can expect specific Christmas Day traditions. These kick off at midnight, right after midnight mass.
After getting out of church, the people throw parties, some of which have a specific theme, and some of which are just for fun. The parties go on until about six in the morning so it’s easy to see why the people prefer to have Christmas dinner later in the day.
Christmas at the Rendezvous
There are many hotels on St. Lucia that do Christmas right, but the Rendezvous is known for its magnificent celebrations. The boutique hotel sits on a two mile stretch of Malabar Beach and hosts a Christmas Eve cocktail party with live entertainment that will get you on your feet.
On Christmas Day, Santa arrives at the resort via speedboat with presents for all the guests. This is a delight for the young children.
Then they host a BBQ lunch with a live performance from a steel band. This is followed up by a traditional Christmas dinner in their dining room.
The Landing Resort and Spa
Landings is another great place to stay during your St. Lucia Christmas vacation. It is located on pristine Rodney Bay and has scenic views of Pigeon Harbor. It has its own private yacht harbor where guests can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere or cruise the ocean.
Each villa has a full kitchen which is perfect for guests looking to make their own holiday dinner. They also have a New Year’s gala celebration.
Calabash Cove is an adult’s only resort that ensures the ultimate in relaxation. It has a magnificent waterfront views and all-inclusive packages with meals, drinks, in room bars, daily lobster, WiFi, tips and spa services.
The hotel provides a staff that is 2 to 1 for each guest ensuring you will be well attended to. Plan your trip so you are in town for their New Year’s Eve celebration.
St. Lucia is known for its many luxury boutiques but there is all kind of shopping available on the island. There are three main shopping districts, Castries, Rodney Bay and Choiseul.
Castries is a good for souvenir shopping if you are looking to take something home for family and friends. It is a great place to find batik garments and enjoy magnificent views.
Rodney Bay is a beachfront shopping area and a good destination for beach themed items and bathing suits.
Choiseul is a bit off the beaten path and it’s a great stop if you’re going to see the volcano. As a shopping destination, expect to find tons of art and crafts.
St. Lucia makes for a terrific holiday vacation. The warm temperatures provide a relaxing escape and there is so much to see and do. What will you be doing during your visit?