Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

Christmas and New Year has been very enjoyable here on Aruba, with plenty of presents, plenty of family time and plenty of crazy fireworks. Pretty much the oposite of the quiet Christmasses and New Years that we've had in Belize for the last 6 years.

In Belize we had to remind ourselves that it was New Year Eve, for instance, whilst in Aruba there's no escaping it. Everybody spends a small fortune on fireworks here and goes out on the street creating their own little (or not so little) fireworks show. So at midnight the whole sky above Aruba was alight with fireworks, you simply didn't know which way to turn, it was everywhere. Andy was really surprised to see it as even in the UK people don't do that, but I told him that it reminded me of my childhood in Holland as the Dutch do the same thing.

Something else that I really enjoyed here were the traditional Christmas singers. I forgot what they are called, there's a special name for them. Anyway, they are big groups of people (about 20 per band, with about 8 to 10 of them singing). The music that they make does not sound like Christmas music to me though, it just sounds Tropical and kinda salsa to me. It's really good fun. And these bands are everywhere around the Christmas period in Aruba. They play at the supermarkets, in the shopping streets, out at parking lots, etc.

The traditional Christmas lights on the islands were wonderful to see as well. The boys (of course) loved them.

And the other traditional thing that the Arubans do is scare away the bad spitits from the past year by letting off thousands of firecrakers outside virtually every store and business on the island around New Year's Eve. It's rediculously noisy, but I like the thought behind it.
The following pictures were from our Christmas Eve dinner, which was at a Lebanese restaurant. Which is of course not particularly traditional for Christmas, but we had great food and good fun too.

So there you go. That's what's been happening here. I hope you've all had plenty of good times and I wish you all good health, love and joy for 2008 and for the years that follow.

Blog on!