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A BVI Christmas!
No Frames

The traditional BVI Christmas had and has many elements familiar to the world: groups visiting neighbors singing Christmas carols, a variety of delicious holiday foods and drinks, and, in the center of it all, the Christmas tree.

But it is the Christmas tree that differs the greatest in the tropics.

Traditionally, a Fishing Rod Tree, possessing its own natural beauty, would be taken from the wild. Otherwise known as the Century Plant, the top of this tall succulent spike, bursts into bright canary yellow flowers in April.

Later, at Christmas, its radiating stems, gracefully holding dried seed pod clusters, are decorated with ornaments and lights, with the tree itself often painted silver.

Christmas on Main Street

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Shopping in shorts makes a Christmas in the tropics–see the bottom of a silver BVI Christmas tree. The first such Main Street Christmas festival was held in 1999.

Christmas traditions in the BVI include other differences as well. For instance, the resounding music was likely to be made by a fungi group with its eclectic collection of sounds including washboards and gourds. And today, perhaps played by some to a reggae beat.

While mass serenading is mostly a thing of the past, as in most of the world, one element of the BVI Christmas remains: guavaberry spirits.

"The guavaberries, a bright raspberry or sometimes grape coloured berry which looks similar to a wild cherry, would be picked, washed and then soaked in a demijohn or in gallon glass bottles laced with dark Meyers Rum and an assortment of spices." See Reflections on an Island Christmas.
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Club Paradise
Christmas Tree

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The ornaments are anything but traditional, being inspired by the location of this Christmas tree outside a bar.

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