It’s Easter time in Trinidad and Tobago and like everything else, we like to do things in our own unique way. Easter is no different. We’ve all heard about the Easter bunny, the eggs and parades, but there’s nothing like a Trinbago Easter!
We intertwine the remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, fun activities, humor and delicious treats! They may not all be indigenous to us, but we look forward to them every year.
1. Hot Cross Buns
Whether you’re Christian or not, everyone loves these fluffy, tasty buns topped with white crossed icing on top. Traditionally believed to have originated in the United Kingdom from as early as the 14th century, though the ancient Greeks were marking cakes with crosses before that. Regardless, the bun is a must have staple at Easter in Trinidad and Tobago with bakeries opening after hours to accommodate last minute orders.
2. Good Friday “Bobolee”
Trinis are experts at poking fun or making light of a solemn situation. At Easter time, one familiar face is the Good Friday ‘bobolee’. Originally intended as an effigy for Judas Iscariot, the bobolee consists of a stuffed character placed in public. Spectators can take turns beating the bobolee which served as a retribution for Judas’ betrayal. Because as Trinbagonians we like ‘bacchanal’, the bobolee has evolved to include politicians and other public personalities. A humorous sight in Maraval, is the bobolee wedding which mirrors a real wedding with dressed characters, reception and procession.
3. Stations of the Cross
It is after all Easter and it wouldn’t be complete without the re-enactment of the stations of the cross. A popular location is Mount St. Benedict where Catholics and Christians gather to witness journey of Christ to Calvary.
4. Easter Bonnet Parades
Even though the Easter bonnet is practised around the world, there’s an excitement in Trinidad and Tobago when school children parade with their big, flamboyant hats, dresses and suits to the delight and applause of proud parents and teachers.
5. Kite Flying
A favourite Easter event in Trinidad and Tobago that has something for everyone. Traditionally held on Easter Sunday, Queen’s Park Savannah, this event features kites of various sizes, shapes and colours competing to outshine the others. There’s live performance musical acts from Soca and Chutney artistes, bouncy castles, games, raffles, local delicacies and of course, the favourite sno-cone man. Whether you’re coming for the competition or just ‘joining the lime’, kite flying is a national favourite.
6. Easter Monday
Hello Trinidad! The land of public holidays. It’s one of the only two Mondays Trinbagonians love. The other being Carnival Monday of course! What better way to cool down the Easter Weekend than the Monday off? Treat yourself to some rest and relaxation, catch up on sleep or hit the beach! Nothing says cool down like a good ‘ole’ fashioned beach lime.
7. Goat Racing
Tobago’s in on the action with their annual goat racing event on what some deem as ‘Easter Tuesday’. Started in 1925 and deemed ‘the poor man’s horse racing’. What began as racing on the streets has evolved into a full-fledged event attracting visitors to the Buccoo beach facility where trainers take special care months in advance preparing their goat through diet, walking and even swimming exercises to capture the top prize.
Perhaps what makes Trinidad and Tobago’s Easter so unique is it caters to diversity. It has something for everyone from the children, to food lovers, to the beach limers, to the spiritual. With so much activity over Easter weekend, it’s hard not to enjoy yourself!
Photo credits in order: mccormick.com ; C News’ @nic_pat ; taylormarshall.com ; stmargaretanglicanchurchtt.com ; flickr.com/photos/georgiap/5650571741 ; facebook.com/livintrini ; guardian.co.tt/gallery/file/957