Bajan Easter Traditions

Easter-Egg1The Easter period is one of great sig­nif­i­cance to Chris­tians in the Caribbean, as it is a cel­e­bra­tion of Christ’s death for the sins of all and His sub­se­quent res­ur­rec­tion. Like many of the other sea­sons through­out the year, this sea­son is accom­pa­nied by var­i­ous tra­di­tions unique to each coun­try and cul­ture. What are some of these tra­di­tions as prac­ticed by Bajans?

Kite Fly­ing

Kites4601Kite fly­ing is one of the most pop­u­lar Eater tra­di­tions on the island for both chil­dren and adults. Kites can be pur­chased in a vari­ety of shapes, sizes and col­ors, or, as tra­di­tion dic­tates, many can cre­ate their own kites using plas­tic bags, tree twigs and old cloth (see the DIY Kite arti­cle for more details). The pop­u­lar­ity of this tra­di­tion is encap­su­lated by the kite fly­ing com­pe­ti­tion held at the Gar­ri­son Savan­nah on Easter Mon­day. While kite fly­ing is still very preva­lent as an Easter tra­di­tion, there will be the sound of kites buzzing the air all year round in some neighborhoods!

The Easter Bon­net Parade

These parades are held by var­i­ous schools and com­mu­nity groups island wide and sig­nify the “renewal of spirit and the wear­ing of new clothes”. Chil­dren wear head­dresses or bon­nets rep­re­sent­ing var­i­ous themes cho­sen by the respec­tive groups. Within each parade, there are prizes to be won by the children.

Oistins Fish Festival

Oistins20200-Copy21This is held, as the name implies, in the fish­ing vil­lage of Oistins, to honor per­sons who have con­tributed to the fish­ing indus­try in Bar­ba­dos. Begin­ning on Easter Sun­day and end­ing on Easter Mon­day, this fes­ti­val has a vari­ety of activ­i­ties includ­ing the Fish Bon­ing Com­pe­ti­tion, climb­ing of the grease pole and boat rac­ing (fish­er­men race their boats).

Fish Eat­ing

Fish is the most pop­u­lar del­i­cacy sold dur­ing the period of Easter. The con­sump­tion of meats with blood was orig­i­nally more of a reli­gious obser­vance (espe­cially with Good Fri­day being the day of cru­ci­fix­ion) but even those who do not observe the reli­gios­ity of Easter, tend to use more fish around this period.

Good Fri­day and Easter Sun­day Church Services

Easter-Services1With such a reli­gious under­pin­ning of this sea­son, many per­sons observe the impor­tance of what Jesus did by attend­ing church. All churches have Good Fri­day and Easter Sun­day ser­vices, in an effort to cel­e­brate Christ’s cru­ci­fix­ion and res­ur­rec­tion from the dead. Tra­di­tion­ally, per­sons would wear black to Good Fri­day ser­vice, and white to the Easter Sun­day Ser­vice. The Easter Sun­day ser­vice is usu­ally fol­lowed by a large fam­ily lunch.

Hot Cross Buns

crossy-buns1Hot crossed buns are the most con­sumed pas­try dur­ing the Easter period. These are sold at all local bak­eries dur­ing this sea­son and as the name implies, it is a bun fla­vored with a vari­ety of spices and raisons, dec­o­rated with an icing cross at the top, sym­bol­iz­ing the cru­ci­fix­ion of Jesus Christ. The shape of the bun rep­re­sents the stone removed from the front of the tomb when Jesus was resurrected.

Easter Super­sti­tions

Accom­pa­ny­ing the Easter Tra­di­tions in Bar­ba­dos are a few superstitions:

  • Do not go to the beach on Good Fri­day, as there will be a greater pos­si­bil­ity of drown­ing on this day.
  • Plac­ing an egg in a glass of water, will cause the shape of the cross to form (on Good Fri­day). Oth­ers say it will pre­dict what the future holds.
  • Bruis­ing of a physic nut tree (also known as the Bar­ba­dos nut tree) at noon on Good Fri­day, is said to cause the tree to bleed much in the same way that Christ bled on the cross.

While many of the Easter Tra­di­tions pre­sented in this arti­cle are prac­ticed to vary­ing degrees across the island, it is evi­dent that some, espe­cially kite fly­ing still have a pre­em­i­nence in soci­ety. For Chris­t­ian Bajans, the cel­e­bra­tion of this momen­tous sea­son through atten­dance of Good Fri­day and Easter Sun­day ser­vices will con­tinue to be the pin­na­cle of Easter obser­vances and tra­di­tions in Barbados.

© Photo 1 taken from Lee​val​leyire​land​.com
© Photo 2 taken from Guim​.co​.uk
© Photo 3 taken from Netdna-​
© Photo 4 taken from Roundthe​rocktx​.com
© Photo 5 taken from Inquisitr​.com
© Arti­cle of caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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