Latin American holiday traditions vary from country to country and from household to household, but what they all have in common, is a time to reflect and share with loved ones. It is important to mention that most of the traditions are based on Religious festivities. We have picked out a couple for you:
These are most popular in Mexico and Guatemala. Posadas are reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem. Both adults and children sing traditional songs asking for shelter, when the hosts of the neighborhoods respond in song and open their door to offer the different drinks and foods traditional to this event.
PUERTO RICO’S PARRANDAS –
The best way to describe this tradition is by comparing it to the US Christmas Caroling tradition, but a lot louder! Here, groups of friends go to relatives or friends home, with the holiday spirit and cheerfulness. The “parranderos” play guitars, tambourines and maracas, while the others enjoy dancing. Everyone is expected to be singing and having a good time. They spontaneously go to a home, so the element of surprise is there and the households have to be on standby in case the parranda stops by. At nights end, the parranderos eat asopao and drink the famous coquito and the last house is expected to provide it.
VENEZUELAN PATINADAS – Roller Skating Parties
These are skating parties that are public celebrations that are done in the street; they are usually done in avenues that are closed at Christmas time, so that children and adults enjoy music and the party. Children spend the time on their skates, bicycles and skateboards freely accompanied by music, aguinaldos, gaitas (Venezuelan folk music) o villancicos, in able to create a cheerful atmosphere.
BOLIVIAN Holiday Dishes -
During the holiday season, it is customary to eat traditional meals likke Picana; a soup made of chicken, beef, corn and special spices accompanied with wine. In Santa Cruz, people usually eat turkey or roasted chicken during the holidays, similar to the American Thanksgiving but with completely diferent dishes. At midnight families toast champagne or wine and eat turron, drink something similar to the American eggnog called "cola de mono."
This is Latino’s Christmas Eve. The evening consists of a traditional family dinner. As mentioned earlier, the traditions vary from household to household, however most gatherings turn into a party, complete with a large feast that usually includes lechon (Roasted Pig), holiday music, dancing and gift exchanges. It is common that at midnight, religious Latin Americans attend a late Mass known as Misa de Gallo.
MISA DE GALLO –
This is a Mass celebrated the night of the 24th of December after the Christmas Eve dinner at midnight. The celebration is focused on the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Written by Andi Olivares
LARM USA Operations Manager