The story of Christmas around the world > 6

Trinidad and Tobago
Christmas here would not be complete without parang – indigenous carols with Spanish and Venezuelan influences. Paranderos (carolers) hop from one house to the next, singing songs that echo the spirit of the island: lively, joyful and infectious. They are often accompanied by a wide variety of musical instruments.

The black fruit cake is prepared days (even weeks) in advance to ripen the flavours of dark Jamaica rum, currants, dried figs, prunes, angostura bitters, maraschino cherries and other ingredients. Drinks are likewise prepared in advance: plantain wine, ginger beer and ponche de crème (the Trinidadian version of eggnog). The Christmas meal can include chicken, turkey, ham, seafood, rice and calaloo (a Caribbean version of gumbo).