Holidays in Saipan are always slightly different than what you may traditionally feel is the holiday season — but it does take on a unique flavor that still is holiday-scented, warm and fuzzy — well, the warm part is true at least.
As you know, the Northern Mariana Islands hold the Guinness Book of World Records’ record for the steadiest temperature — so that high 70s, low 80s (and 90% humidity – which is good for my skin, must see the positives!) is a constant. During this time of year, we do get a cool breeze from elsewhere in the Northern Hemispheres and it really has blown in. It is weather for opening your windows at night (if you can stand the humidity).
I think I have posted about this before, but I like traditions so I try to put some things up related to the holiday season. Before I left for my Japan trip (Read all about it by clicking starting from here), I put up my tiny fake Christmas tree and my strings of Christmas lights. (See last year’s post here) I joke with friends that my air conditioning bill is higher in the winter because I keep it cooler so I can wear sweatpants around the house and drink hot chocolate.
I was out running some errands and had totally forgot about the ‘Christmas in the Marianas’ – an event put on by the visitors association annually that occurs every weekend before Christmas in December with food vendors, Christmas trees from each of the schools, etc. I went in for a gander and picked up dinner!
The day I went, they were having the recycled costumes contest for kids — basically where parents design costumes for their children out of recycled goods and then their kids do their best, cutest speech about their costumes on the stage for a prize!
The ‘Christmas in the Marianas’ event occurs in the Paseo de Marianas – a street that is not accessible to cars with some shops and stores around.
They have an annual competition between the schools on island (public and private) where they decorate the tree with recycled materials.
In addition this year, there was a big tree (fake of course, a feel evergreen would wilt in one day) that hung little wishes on it. Some were funny, child
Saipanda made an appearance too… (compare to backpack from the infamous runner that we saw at the Fuji marathon!)
Kinpachi restaurant, a restaurant that I often hear about giving back to the community is at the end of the paseo and they often have lots of food carts/stalls. I got a $5 lunch box plate that I split into three meals at home!! (They give a lot of food!)
In other news, Saipan has decorated itself up with again, huge Christmas signs adorning the building and unique only-in-Saipan type of things!
Here are Christmas trees, waiting to be picked up at Joeten Susupe – in general live Christmas trees are ordered far in advance and I’m sure they take a lot of maintenance in our weather. But, there’s something about the smell of a live Christmas tree — as you can imagine, no one on the island gets the experience of going to cut down their own Christmas tree at a lot — that would be asking too much!
Christmas signage here seems to always take up the WHOLE building.. no one is content with a simple string of lights around their doorframe.
Spam Christmas tree?
Lighted Santa surfboard?
Always fun to be in the holiday spirit even in T-shirt and shorts weather! Happy holidays and thanks for reading.
A recent sunset picture :) for your holiday enjoyment!