The Bodden Town Cultural Committee is hosting an event showcasing Christmas traditions from around the world at Harry McCoy Sr. Park, off Gun Square, Bodden Town on Saturday, Dec. 12. It will start at 10 a.m. and continue until late evening.
Drawing on the many cultures represented in Cayman, “Christmas Round the World” will feature an International Christmas tree competition of elegantly decorated Christmas trees, including a traditional Caymanian weeping willow tree, with a prize going to the most spectacularly decorated tree. Organizers note that there will there will also be children’s activities, caroling, exhibitions, food, beverages and music from countries such as Jamaica, Brazil, Cayman and Honduras, all celebrating their cultures’ holiday customs.
In addition, assorted crafts will be on sale.
“We have so many different nationalities in Cayman, it would be nice to see how they celebrate Christmas,” said Emilio Watler, one of the organizers. He is hopeful the event will give members of the community the opportunity to share their heritage and respective holiday traditions.
In Cayman, the season is notable for several characteristic customs, including preparing Christmas beef seasoned with Scotch bonnet peppers, shallots and salt and pepper.
Long ago, the beef was marinated for a few days and then placed in a cast iron pot on coals and buried in the ground to simmer for many hours, though today more likely the dish is prepared on a stovetop. And no Cayman Christmas meal would be complete without heavy cake, a sweet dessert which could be made using just about any type of produce, including cassava, pumpkin, potatoes and breadfruit, or even leftover biscuits.
The thick, often gelatinous cake was either baked in the ground or on an outside caboose, a traditional outdoor kitchen, and remains a local treat eaten these days at festive gatherings and celebrations of all kinds.
For more information on the event, call Florence Wood on 925-4193 or Emilio Watler on 929-7356.