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At Christmas time, the influence of the Spanish comes to the fore with parang, a Venezuelan- derived Christmas music in which small groups of singers and guitarists go from house to house. In the last few decades, a hybrid form, ' soca parang', has grown up with new releases every year that rival the more traditional parang music. Parang was introduced in Trinidad by the Spaniards during their occupation ( 1498- 1797). Regarded as a classical Christmas music, it comprises Spanish lyrics, Venezuelan music and Trinidadian rhythm. This combination has produced, over the years, a traditional flavour to our Christmas celebrations, without which Christmas in Trinidad will not be the same. The word ' parang' represents an adulteration of the Spanish word ' parranda', which depicts music, musical instruments or dances. It also means to wander without a fixed destination. ' Parrandoros' are those who participate in the celebrations. They live in the agricultural districts of north and south Trinidad. The singing, dancing and other movements which are associated with parang are completed with traditional instruments like the guitar, cuatro, maracas and mandolin ( pictured). In recent years new instruments have been introduced, including the violin, box base and flute. Parang music consists of aquinaldo or serenal. This is sung on arrival at a home. It is followed by the guarapo. The manzanare is sung at Christmas time. LIMELITE FESTIVAL ON MONTSERRAT We all love to celebrate Christmas, and festivities – large and small – will take place across the Caribbean. It is a particularly colourful time of year in Montserrat, where the December Festival CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS is one of the event highlights of the year. The Festival begins on 12th December 2008 and climaxes on New Year's Day with a big street parade involving the whole community. Montserrat's version of the traditional Caribbean carnival has its own unique flavour due to the island's mixed cultural heritage. Festival is very family- oriented, offering smaller, more intimate activities in a relaxed, friendly and safe atmosphere. Amongst the many events taking place are masquerade performances, informal street dancing, a night of steel pan, pageant shows, a calypso competition and carol singing on Christmas Day. Visitors to Montserrat during Festival will be able to experience Caribbean traditions and find themselves welcomed into the local community. This is because the island is only 40 square miles in area and has a close- knit community of around 4500 residents. As Christmas is one of the most popular times for Montserratians living overseas to return home, the whole island pulsates with a spirited vibe at this time of year. Enjoy! Developments to look out for: Iconic style in Antigua Opening November 2008, Hodges Bay Club is set within eight acres of lush tropical gardens and sandy beach on the island's northern shores. This multi- million dollar iconic development will ooze sophistication and cool, contemporary style. Ninety luxuriously finished hotel suites and ocean front houses will be available. Wyndham's Royal King The Turks and Caicos Islands are to benefit from a new luxury 251- unit ocean front resort at Pirate's Bay on the west coast, which should attract dive enthusiasts eager to explore Grand Turk's barrier reef. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts plan 14 low- rise buildings, offering deluxe studio and one- bedroom suites. The main hotel building will be called Cacique Royale – the Lucayan Indian term for Royal King. Facelift for Jalousie St Lucia's Jalousie Plantation is to undergo a massive US$ 100 million renovation to transform the famous resort into a Leading Hotel in the World. Plans include the rebuilding and remodelling of the entire resort, which will close for an estimated 18 months. Existing accommodations will be completely renovated to a 5- Star standard. LiMEnews 28 lime October - December 2008 christmas music Hodges Bay Club