Hi Everyone......It's Easter and as usual in this country we have a few back to back holidays coming up. We have Friday to Monday off. This Monday I'll be running around with my mom as she is 78 years and I use Mondays to help her do all the tasks she needs done that she wasn't able to get done during the week..You know how that goes. So we are having another holiday on Friday. Yea!!!!! In Trinidad and Tobago we have lots of holidays, we had one two weeks ago and we have another one this week. Friday is Good Friday, a Religious Holiday. We have a very mixed culture of religions here and its the best. We have Catholics, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, Hindu, Moslems, Mormons, and many more.
There are lots of traditions that are followed with this holiday. Many masses and Lenten resolutions and no eating of meat etc. The Lenten season or Lent as it is widely known begins on the Wednesday after Carnival, known as Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday, the last day of the Holy Week. Many Christians observe Ash Wednesday by attending church services nationwide, where ashes in the shape of a cross are placed on their forehead to symbolize repentance before God. Lent is observed for forty days as a time of fasting and prayer in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, one week before Easter Sunday. Palm Sunday commemorates the coming of Jesus to Jerusalem, where people waved palms and laid them on the ground along his path. In Trinidad and Tobago, many churches observe this event by the distribution of palm leaves to followers during Palm Sunday services. On Good Friday, the day Christ was crucified, the Roman Catholic Church in particular retraces the steps of Christ on his journey to crucifixion. This is called the Stations of the Cross. There are church services throughout the rest of weekend, ending with the largest celebrations occurring on Easter Sunday.
Our Traditions for Easter are as follows:
Hot Cross Buns
We try to get a hot cross buns on Good Friday then good luck! Most bakeries would have been sold out from the night before. In Trinidad and Tobago hot cross buns on Good Friday are a staple. The tradition dates back to the 12th century when an Anglican monk baked buns and marked them with a cross in honour of Good Friday. There is no clear reason why and when it became so popular.
Beat De Bobolee
One dying tradition on Good Friday is the beating of the “bobolee”, an effigy, symbolic of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ. Like everything in Trinidad, this has taken a complete turn of its own. People now design “bobolees” as politicians who are not favoured in the society or even as social outcasts from their specific communities.
Good Friday Meals
Fish must be cooked on Good Friday because Catholic doctrine prohibits eating fleshy meat on Good Friday. Since it commemorates the day that Christ sacrificed his flesh it would be seen as disrespectful to consume “flesh” on the anniversary of His death. Not all Trinidadians are Catholics, but this is still commonly observed in many Trini homes. Eating the seafood with “ground provision” such as yams, cassava, dasheen, and eddoes is also traditional.
The tradition of making your own kite for an Easter Sunday kite flying competition has become entrenched in Trinidadian culture. The practice began as a religious event, with the kites being made to look like a cross and meant to represent Jesus’ ascension into Heaven. Traces of religious symbolism have been all but lost now, but colourful squares battling against the wind on Easter Sunday is still a comfortingly familiar sight.
Going to the Beach
It seems like Trinbagonians celebrate everything by going to the beach, for obvious reasons. The beach is awesome.
Hope you learned a little more about my beautiful culture of Trinidad & Tobago.