Facts about Latin America Christmas Traditions
Latin America is a region rich in culture and diversity, and its Christmas traditions reflect that. From colorful parades to unique customs, here are some facts about Latin America Christmas traditions that might surprise you.
In Mexico and other Latin American countries, the nine days leading up to Christmas Day are celebrated with Las Posadas, a reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Each night, a different family hosts a procession that goes from house to house, with participants singing and carrying candles. After the procession, the family hosting the event provides food and drink for everyone.
In most Latin American countries, Christmas Eve, also known as La Nochebuena, is the most important celebration. Families often attend a midnight Mass, followed by a big feast that includes traditional dishes such as tamales, buñuelos, and hot chocolate.
Parrandas, also known as caroling, is a popular tradition in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other Caribbean countries. It involves groups of people going from house to house, singing Christmas carols and playing instruments such as maracas, güiros, and tambourines. The hosts usually provide food and drinks for the carolers, and sometimes join in the singing themselves.
In Venezuela, Aguinaldos is a Christmas tradition that involves going from house to house singing Christmas carols. The carolers are often accompanied by a cuatro, a small guitar-like instrument, and maracas. The host family provides food, drinks, and small gifts for the carolers. This tradition usually starts on December 16 and continues until Christmas Eve.
La Feria de Cali
In Colombia, La Feria de Cali is a popular Christmas tradition that takes place in the city of Cali. It is a week-long celebration that includes parades, concerts, fireworks, and street parties. The most famous event of the festival is the salsa marathon, where people dance salsa for 12 hours straight.
El Niño Jesús
In many Latin American countries, children receive gifts from El Niño Jesús, or Baby Jesus, on Christmas Day instead of Santa Claus. Children often leave their shoes outside their bedroom doors on Christmas Eve, and wake up to find them filled with sweets and small presents.
In conclusion, these are just a few examples of the rich and unique Christmas traditions that can be found throughout Latin America. Whether it’s Las Posadas in Mexico, Parrandas in Puerto Rico, or Aguinaldos in Venezuela, each tradition reflects the vibrant and diverse cultures of this amazing region.