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What is Christmas like in Cape Verde? Today, instead of snow and freezing temperatures, many people long for sun and warmth in the New years time and prefer to spend Christmas somewhere in the south. Christmas and New Year 2022 in Cape Verde was a different experience for this Finnish girl and it was also the first time I didn’t spend New Years in Europe.
I have always spent Christmas with my family in Finland and in 2021 I spent my first Christmas abroad in Lisbon, Portugal. In 2022, I moved to Cape Verde and met my current husband, with whom I had the pleasure of spending our first Christmas together on the beach of Sal Island, in the turquoise sea water, with a fluffy red Christmas hat on of course.
CHRISTMAS IN CAPE VERDE
Christmas and New Year’s celebrations are not only fun, but also a downright obligatory tradition in Cape Verde. Cape Verdeans love to party and at Christmas time the places are filled with bright Christmas lights and colorful Christmas decorations.
Christmas is traditionally celebrated by going to Christmas church, as well as with family and enjoying the local food and drinks. Local delicacies include, for example, Catchupa, Feijoada, various fresh fish dishes, and a splash of strong grog or slightly softer pontche to drink on the side. Gifts are also given to loved ones in Cape Verde, and Christmas is above all a family celebration here. Music is also strongly present in Cape Verdean Christmas, and local morna and funana are played a little bit everywhere.
Tourists get the sea, the sun, a year-round warm climate and a relaxed holiday for their Christmas. In other words, exactly what they hope for when they leave the cold winter and the Christmas hustle and bustle, right?
NEW YEAR’S IN CAPE VERDE
Many people consider the New Year to be an even more important holiday than Christmas. At least according to my local husband, haha. People gather to celebrate in the streets and the bars are filled with festive locals and tourists. There is glitter and white dress sparkle, happy mood and the scent of Caipirinhas everywhere. The year changes with the biggest and most colorful fireworks on the sky.
For example on the island of Sal, people celebrate the New Year along the main street in different bars, or jumping from bar to bar and back again. Several hotels also organize their own all-inclusive parties. We personally headed this past New year to the Bikini Beach Club after watching the fireworks to celebrate, which is a popular beach club a few euros away by taxi from the center of Santa Maria.
Celebrating the New Year is traditional and important for Cape Verdeans also because it is the time to celebrate the past year and the fact that we have managed to move forward one year again in all the good and the difficult times.
ARE YOU PLANNING CHRISTMAS OR NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS IN CAPE VERDE? CHECK OUT THE BEST GUIDED TOURS AND ACTIVITIES IN CAPE VERDE HERE!
Have you ever spent Christmas abroad? Where? What has been your favourite destination? Are you interested in Christmas in Cape Verde? Share your thoughts and best tips and experiences in the comments below! 🙂
<3: Tiina Johanna
*Photos: Tiina Johanna, blogger
*Photo editing: Loov.fi “Tropical blues” presets – check it out!