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Corpus Christi

The Feast of the Body of Christ

Corpus Christi is a long-standing tradition in our islands, going back to our pre-British occupation by the Catholic Spaniards. Though mainly observed by Roman Catholics, it is a designated public holiday. This special feast day is celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, in commemoration of the institution of the Holy Eucharist. The impressive processions that take place (the biggest is in front of the Cathedral on Independence Square in Port of Spain) give you just a glimpse into the sacredness and significance of the occasion.

Although the religious feast day is only a public holiday in predominantly Catholic countries, it is historically binding in Trinidad and Tobago, because it was originally bundled in a package of conditions by Spain before ceding rule of Trinidad and Tobago to Britain in 1797.

Observances take place in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando, Scarborough and other parishes across the country. Followers of the Roman Catholic faith attend church services on Corpus Christi morning before going to processions in their communities. The biggest procession is held in front of the Roman Catholic Cathedral on Independence Square in Port-of-Spain. Since there is often a great deal of rainfall around the time of the Corpus Christi celebrations, gardeners in Trinidad and Tobago consider the day to be good for planting, as it is believed that anything planted on this day will thrive. Some planters also carry their seeds to church services for blessing. Among the popular plants purchased during this time are tomatoes, hot peppers, melongene (eggplant or aubergine), ochro, patchoi ( Chinese Cabbage or bok choy), lettuce, and grains such as corn and pigeon peas.