If you are one of those lucky people who had the foresight to book a vacation to the Turks and Caicos Islands this holiday season, you will soon be very happy. While visiting Turks and Caicos is always a delight, coming here around the holidays offers some very special experiences.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of relaxing on a beautiful beach with the sun pouring on you and knowing friends and family back home are battling to keep warm. Our guests at the Alexandra Resort and Spa tell us how transformative it is to get on a plane in the morning with gray skies and frost in the air, and wearing heavy layers of clothing, and get off a few hours later greeted by brilliant sunshine, white sand and the most amazing turquoise waters you’ve ever seen.
However, while the weather in Turks and Caicos is bound to be a whole lot warmer than almost everywhere else this time of year, the weather is only one reason Turks and Caicos is an ideal vacation spot for Christmas. The West Indies style of celebrating the holidays is the other.
The phrase “white Christmas” has a a whole new meaning here. Instead of snow balls you’ll make sand castles, and instead of looking for reindeer you’ll be watching out for JoJo, our local bottlenose dolphin who can often be spotted swimming close to shore.
Palm trees decorated with Christmas lights, taking in a scuba dive on Christmas morning and walking barefoot along the beach after dinner are all part of the allure of spending the holidays here. In addition, in Turks and Caicos we celebrate the holiday and our cultural heritage with a special event called Maskanoo. This year, Maskanoo happens on Dec 26, 2012 and showcases the best of TCI’s cultural background, mixing Junkanoo (taken from Bahamian heritage) with Masquerade to create "Maskanoo".
This year’s event will include a parade along with music, food and cultural items for sale as well as samples of local art and entertainment.
For those who ring in the New Year here, there is a wide range of ways to celebrate: bonfires on the beach, gourmet dinners by candlelight, and rocking parties with music and dancing.
Throughout the winter, the Club Med resort on Providenciales doesn’t change its clock. This means the resort has a one-hour time difference from the rest of the island. On New Year’s Eve this is advantageous because they set off their fireworks at 11 pm local time, effectively giving the rest of the island a prelude fireworks show. At midnight other resorts normally also have a firework show to bring in the new year, so many people will get to experience two sets of fireworks that evening.
The other local tradition on New Year Eve is the Jump Up. This is a lively and festive infusion of music, color and excitement that accompany the Junkanoo band. On a regular basis, a Junkanoo band is like a whirling dervish - full of energy that sweeps you up. On New Year’s Eve the band plays from midnight to sunrise and has a huge following. If you decide to do the Jump Up on New Year’s Eve you’re sure to then also do the lie-in the next day!
Christmas in the Caribbean - it’s something everyone should experience at least once.