How Does South America Celebrate Christmas?

Christmas is a joyous occasion celebrated around the world, and South America is no exception. Although the traditions and customs vary across the continent, one can always find a festive atmosphere during the holiday season.


Christmas in Argentina is celebrated on the 24th of December, and it is a time for family gatherings, feasting, and fireworks. Families gather around the table to enjoy traditional foods such as roast beef, pork, and turkeys. As midnight approaches, the Christmas tree is lit, and the family exchanges their presents.


In Brazil, Christmas is called “Natal” and is celebrated with music, dancing, and food. One of the most popular traditions is “Amigo Secreto” where family and friends draw names and secretly gift each other until the big reveal on Christmas. Popular foods include Turkey, Panettone, and Rabanada (a type of French toast).


Chile celebrates Christmas on the 24th of December, but the festivities continue until January 6th, known as “Dia de los Reyes” (Three Kings Day). On Christmas Eve, families gather for a late dinner called “Cena de Navidad,” which traditionally includes roast pork or turkey. However, in recent years, people have started to include seafood in their Christmas meals.


In Peru, Christmas is called “Navidad,” and it is a time for family and religious celebration. The holiday begins on the 24th and continues until the 6th of January, just like in Chile. The most important aspect of Peruvian Christmas is the “Misa de Gallo,” the Rooster’s Mass, a late-night Mass held on the night of the 24th December.


In Colombia, Christmas is one of the most important holidays of the year, and it is celebrated with decorations, gifts, and family get-togethers. In contrast to other South American countries, Christmas is celebrated for a total of nine days, known as “Las Novenas”. Families typically gather around the Nativity scene called “El Pesebre” and sing traditional songs.


Ecuadorians celebrate Christmas on the night of the 24th with a festive dinner and fireworks. One of the main dishes is roasted turkey or pork, and a popular beverage is canelazo, a warm, alcoholic drink made from cinnamon and sugar. On Christmas day, people typically visit family and friends, and children receive gifts from “Papa Noel.”

In conclusion, although there are different ways of celebrating Christmas in South America, the holiday spirit remains the same. Family gatherings, music, food, and exchanging gifts are some of the things that make Christmas in South America unique and unforgettable.

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