Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Jamaicans Waiting For Santa Claus – And Other Visitors

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Around Christmastime, the people of Jamaica aren’t just expecting Santa Claus, they’re also keeping their eyes open for the ghosts of a three-legged horse and a calf dragging a ball and chain.

According to Dave Shields of the Jamaica Tourist Board, the ghosts are known as “duppies” and are the most fearsome spirits in Jamaica.

He says almost everyone either sees or talks about them in the weeks approaching Christmas.

The sightings may or may not be related to the fact that around Christmas, Jamaicans like to consume a red-colored drink called sorrel, made from the fruit of the sorrel plant which is then mixed with white rum, ginger and cloves.

While Jamaicans are looking out for the “duppies,” they’re also looking forward to getting sloshed on Jamaican Christmas Cake, which Shields describes as “a heavy cake with lots of raisins and cherries that have been soaked in rum for a few months.”

He doesn’t think the cake would cause people to hallucinate and see ghosts, but admits, “You could get somewhat inebriated by it. It depends who’s making it.”

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