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It ‘s beginning to feel a lot like,  El Nacimiento del Niño Jesús !

Latin America, being a country with predominantly Christian festivities, focuses on the birth of Baby Jesus.

Every country has its unique and festive way of celebrating this season. I asked a few friends how the festivities went down in their motherland. 

Las Posadas

I spoke to Marielena Garza and asked what Las Posadas were like growing up. 

Las Posadas is a novenario (nine days of religious observance) celebrated chiefly in Latin America, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, and by Hispanics in the United States, beginning 16 December and ending 24 December. 

Each evening during the festival, a small child dressed as an angel leads a procession through the streets of the town. The procession is primarily made up of children dressed in silver and gold robes carrying lit candles and images of Mary and Joseph riding a donkey.

“I grew up in Jalisco, Mexico and I got to be part of these traditions as a kid not only because it meant eating delicious food, playing games, dancing, and bringing families together,  but because in the Catholic church it meant the Birth of Jesus and the journey of Joseph and the Virgin Mary. 

Las Parrandas 

In Puerto Rico they celebrate Las Parrandas 

Parrandas are the Puerto Rican version of caroling. It is marked by singing traditional Puerto Rican music called Aguinaldos (Christmas Songs) and using traditional instruments, including Guitars and Cuatros, tambourines, maracas, palitos, and guiros.

I asked El Bohike, Co-Host of The Latin Babbler Show what he remembered from celebrating Christmas, en La Isla del Encanto. 

I remember going from house to house with pots, guira, bongos, and maracas. Singing at the door until they woke up and welcomed us in. Then it was on! Coffee and snacks as well as more singing, for like 15 minutes then on to the other house.”

Dia de las Velitas

Día de las Velitas is one of the most observed traditional holidays of Colombia. It is celebrated on December 7, on the eve of the Immaculate Conception, which is a public holiday in Colombia. This day is the unofficial start of the Christmas season in the country.

Mz. Raqui Co-Host at The Latin Babbler show remembered how Las Avelina or Día de las Velitas is celebrated. It starts on  Dec 7th which is basically the start of Christmas. People in Colombia light colorful candles and place them on sidewalks , balconies and window sills in honor of the Virgin Mary.

It becomes a party after the prayer and dedication. We ate arepas, hot chocolate con queso. Yes, cheese!. Laughter and dancing with our typical Colombian music!

Noche Buena 

In El Salvador; Noche Buena better known as “El 24” is a day full of festivities and nonstop dancing and fireworks as soon as daylight falls. On this day I spend all day preparing the ingredients for our traditional Pan con Pavo or Panes Rellenos. At midnight we eat, open presents and dance, until the sun comes out. It wouldn’t be Noche Buena, if La Bala was not danced, at least once!

Indeed our festivities are wondrous and joyous,  as are all the beautiful colors of our paises! I wish I had time to talk about every single tradition across our homelands!

How do you celebrate the Holidays? Let us know in the comments!

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Cecilia Ortiz