History and Culture

The kantiks

It’s almost Christmas, and the “kantiks” are already making themselves heard. The opportunity to introduce you to these “Chanté Nwel”: traditional Christian festivals of local Christmas carols celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

The start is given four days after All Saints’ Day, until December 24 of each year. Joyful praises, and very specific to the Martinican territory, where conviviality, authenticity, good humor, music, song, “to drink and eat”, as a native would say. Indeed, during the “kantik” are distributed local dishes such as ham, salted pies, … typical dishes such as pigeon peas, yams and “scorched pig meat”, without forgetting all alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks : coconut punch, schrubb, bandaged wood … typical dishes of this time of year.

These festivals have traditionally taken place in dwellings, and during municipal celebrations, however for a certain number of years it has been possible to attend paid “Chanté Nwel” evenings.

It’s a privilege to be invited to a “kantik”, but as Martinicans are friendly people, it is customary to share this pleasant moment.

Tip: the one who drives is the one who doesn’t drink alcohol.

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