Songs, cheer and gifts: 7 staples of Christmas in Seychelles


Songs, cheer and gifts: 7 staples of Christmas in Seychelles

Christmas is the most joyful time of the year for many — a time to be merry and a time to share with loved ones. Whether on the islands or elsewhere in the world, Christmas brings people together with wishes for peace and blessings.

Here are seven things you need in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – to have a merry Christmas.
Christmas tree
In the days before artificial Christmas trees, locals used casuarina trees. These have a peculiar smell that islanders refer to as the smell of Christmas. Branches or small trees used to adorn homes all over the islands.
Even today when the market is flooded with artificial ones ranging from green, white, gold and in all sizes. Some people still prefer the local tree, which is decorated with garlands, balloons, lights amongst other decorations. A Christmas tree is a must in homes, and even in shops, offices as well as many other premises.  

(Vanessa Lucas, STB) Photo license: CC-BY  
Christmas card
Even though technology has taken over and many people tend to send festive season wishes on social media and via SMS, Christmas won’t be the same without cards. And many people still rely on snail mail to send personalized messages to loved ones during the festive season.
A card with that beautiful poem is sure to make your Christmas a memorable one just like Jim Reeves sings in his song.  

(Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY  
Christmas carols
A Christmas without carols is not possible. Come December, the sounds of Christmas carols start resounding in all communities. Professional choirs and school groups all join together to spread the cheer from the town centre to hospital wards, homes for the elderly to churches.
And for sure, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” has started to resound in the island nation.  

(Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY  
Christmas songs
The sega “Sa kart Nwel” by Serge Camille has been a hit ever since it came out years ago and one cannot imagine Christmas on the islands without this beautiful song. And it is beyond our imagination how this time would be without Christmas songs.
Since the beginning of December, all radio stations on the island nation have been blasting such songs in Creole, English, and French, local as well as international classical hits.  

(Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY  
Christmas Mass
As a Christian nation, the spiritual aspect of Christmas – the birth of Jesus Christ – tops all celebrations. On that day it is a must to go to church and a large crowd attends mass on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day itself, celebrated in all Catholic and Anglican parishes on all the main islands.
In addition, the bishops of both churches send out special messages for all the islanders.  

(Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY  
Christmas lunch
In days gone by the perfect lunch for people in Seychelles, would have to be pot roast – pork (locally reared of course) – cooked slowly in a marmit (large black cooking recipient) on a wooden stove. This was accompanied by watercress salad and the finest basmati rice – whose aroma could be smelled in the whole neighbourhood.
Today pork is still on the menu, not necessarily roast, but a more modern version in a shape of a gammon, as well as the introduction of turkey with all its trimmings. But Christmas lunch or dinner remains a feast!  
(Marie-Rose Prempeh-Lepathy, Founder Ki Menu Tanto Facebook) Photo license: All Rights Reserved   
Christmas presents
The best part of the festive season and for the little ones for sure! An exchange of presents. By Christmas Eve, gifts of all sizes are lined up under the tree and ready for an exchange on Christmas morn.
Through all of this, it is not only the giving of presents that counts but it is the thought of sharing that makes Christmas all too special!  

(Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY  

Source: Seychelles News Agency