How Christmas is Celebrated in Latin America
The festive season of Christmas is celebrated all around the globe in various ways. While it is celebrated with snow and mistletoe in some parts of the world, others celebrate it with white sandy beaches and clear blue skies. Latin America, an area of diverse culture and traditions, also has its unique way of celebrating Christmas. In this blog post, we will be discussing how Christmas is celebrated in Latin America.
The Nativity Scene: A Unique Tradition
The Nativity Scene is a popular Christmas decoration in Latin American households. These scenes feature Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus in a manger along with various other figures like the Three Wise Men, shepherds, and farm animals. These Nativity Scenes are often a centrepiece of decorations during Christmas and are placed in prominent locations in homes, churches, and public spaces.
La Novena: Nine-day Celebration
La Novena or “the ninth” is a nine-day celebration of Christmas that begins on December 16th and ends on December 24th. This tradition started by the Spanish is popular in many Latin American countries. Each night, families gather to recite prayers, sing carols, and tell stories. This and other traditions of the festivity are ways people show their devotion to their faith and family values.
Las Posadas: A Dramatic Celebration
Las Posadas is a celebration that re-enacts Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. The nine-day event, which ends on Christmas Eve, is often celebrated with processions in the streets. Participants carry candles and sing as they make their way from house to house, re-enacting the journey of Mary and Joseph who are being told that there is no room in the inn. One house will finally open the doors and let them in, and this marks the end of the procession.
Noche Buena: Christmas Eve Feast
Nochebuena translates to ‘Good Nights’ and is celebrated on the 24th of December in various parts of Latin America. The celebration consists of a huge feast with family and friends. The feast usually consists of popular dishes such as roasted pig, Tamales, Bacalao, and drinks such as Ponche and Canelazo. During the feast, children often perform sketches, sing carols, and exchange presents.
La Fiesta de los Reyes: Three Kings Day
La Fiesta de los Reyes or, Three Kings Day, is celebrated on January 6th in Latin America. Also known as Epiphany, Three Kings Day is a continuation of the Christmas celebration. On this day, families attend church services, exchange gifts, and enjoy a feast. Three Kings Day marks the day when the Three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, arrived in Bethlehem to see baby Jesus.
In conclusion, Christmas in Latin America is a joyful and festive celebration of faith, family, and food. People make sure to maintain traditions passed on through generations while creating new memories as they add modern twists to these traditions. The spirit of Christmas is alive and found throughout the season in Latin America, and it is a beautiful way of celebrating this special occasion.
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