New Year


New Years’ celebrations in the Island Neighbours are often filled with family gatherings, animal slaughtering and West Indian galas.

In Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Lucia, the slaughtering of animals often precedes Christmas day. Throughout the year, cows, goats and pigs are fattened before their ceremonious deaths and houses undergo a thorough cleansing in preparation for the New Year.

Christmas lights often greet every street corner, Christmas trees make their annual debut and sinners are afforded opportunities to confess their sins while “showing off” their Christmas bling at the annual church service dedicated to indifferent church goers – Midnight Mass.

Of all the activities, the ushering of the New Year with a parade of fireworks remains one of the most anticipated activities of the season. Everywhere, fireworks explode to welcome a new year with new discoveries, new love, new hope and new aspirations. As you dazzle in the New Year moment this year, take some time to formulate some plans of your own. Here are some tips to ensure that your New Year resolutions are formulated to chart a new course forward:

1.            Be specific in setting your goals. Make sure that your goals are measurable.

2.            Set a reasonable time line to achieve your goals. Remember to make allowances for interruptions and unforeseen events.

3.            Create a display wall for your goals. Ensure that they are displayed in a strategic location.

Setting New Year resolutions is the perfect way to commence the New Year. So … go ahead. Start your planning! A New Year awaits!


Kick off the New Year with a fireworks display on a catamaran in Martinique on December 31, 2015. The event starts off in the Fort-de-France Bay and promises to be one of romance and intrigue. Elsewhere, end the year with a renewed vow to serve God and love your fellowmen when you attend Midnight Mass celebrations at the Portsmouth Catholic Church in Dominica. The celebrations typically begin at 10:00 p.m. and culminate with New Year celebrations. If your beliefs are far from that held by Catholicism, you may choose to attend church service at a Seventh Day Adventist church. The New Year is usually ushered in at sunset.

Neighbourly GetAways

Let’s start the New Year with a trip across the Island Neighbours. Grab your luggage and let’s head over to Les Saintes – eight small islands off the coast of Martinique. Visit one of the two inhabited places – Terre-de-Haut. Enjoy beautiful beaches, breathtaking landscapes, and excellent cuisine. If you’re planning to get married in the New Year, this is the perfect honeymoon spot; fun, sun and romance.

Marie Galante is one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean: Have you visited? Maybe you should. One of the most interesting sites on this isle of paradise is a little museum called Au Mouillage. In there, you may trace the history of transportation on the island from the early 1900s.Learn about the history of this beautiful isle and discover the location of new and renowned sites from the well-informed guides.

   Let’s go Shopping!

Calling all shopaholics! It’s time to prepare adequately for the New Year. To do this we propose shopping for a new journal. Journals are well-known as silent friends which serve to reassure during the turbulent times of the year. We suggest that you purchase one of the unique journals made from banana paper at Ego Boutique in Dominica. This boutique also offers a variety of products made from natural materials from local vendors. Remember to support local if you’re in Dominica this week. Live a little! Shop a little!


Historical note! Did you know that the Roman originally dedicated New Year’s Day to Janus – the God of beginnings? Today, we still celebrate beginnings throughout the Island Neighbours with fireworks? Get to know your neighbours!

A bit of the French for the Visitor

New Year Celebrations

Happy New Year – Bonne année (voeux pour la nouvelle année

Merry Christmas – Joyeux Noël, je voussouhaiteunjoyeux Noël

What are your New Year resolutions? – Quellessontvosrésolutions du nouvel an?

Are you going to Midnight Mass? – Allez-vousmesse de minuit?

I would like to see the fireworks. – Je voudraisvoir les feuxd’artifice.

Did you get any presents for Christmas? – Avez-vousreçu des cadeaux pour Noël?

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