Christmas Tradition in Puerto Rico
Christmas in Puerto Rico is definitely celebrated in style. The traditions here are festive and take place from December through to January. The Puerto Rican way of celebrating this religious time of year is an experience like no other. It is easy to say that Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico is not taken lightly, and visitors to Puerto Rico over this period will be part of a unique and unforgettable extravaganza of song, good will and remembrance.
One Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico that is very sacred is the singing of the Christmas carols (Parrandas). Songs such as ‘Aquinaldos’ (known as the Puerto Rican Christmas song) are sung by carolers that wander from house to farm, spreading the warmth and joy of the festive season. Small groups of carolers are often expanded into large crowds as some of the residents of the homes join this selfless group of well-wishers who are often rewarded for their efforts with drinks and food. Another tradition that is followed at this time is the daily musical church services, known as the Mass of the Carols, and it starts nine days prior to Christmas day.
Of course, it would not be Christmas without a tree, and the Puerto Rican communities are known for their extravagantly decorated trees, a tradition that was influenced by American traditions. Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena, is held on the 24th of December. This is event is a gathering of friends and family that is accompanied by good traditional cuisine and celebratory parties that last until the early morning hours. Some families attend the Misa de Gallo, which is held at midnight on Christmas Eve, and is festive mass that is a beautiful spectacle, complete with hundreds of candles, angels and carolers. Christmas Day (Navidad) is spent at home with family. The Three Wise Men play a large role in the Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico, and children are known to leave water, grain and even grass for the weary camels of the Wise Men, under their beds. And it they are lucky…they will find gifts in place of their kind gifts!
But the fun does not stop there. On the 28th of December, Dia de los Inocentes is celebrated. This is a carnival that depicts the kidnapping of the first born sons by King Herod’s men. To have their children returned families offer the ‘soldiers’ gifts of candy. New Years Eve is known as Despedida de Ano, and is a party that is kicked off with a great fireworks display. Then follows Vispera de Reyes on the 5th of January, the Dia de Reyes (St Gaspar’s Day of Feast) on the 6th of January, the St Melchor’s Day of Feast of the 7th, the St Baltazar’s Day of Feast of the 8th and on the 9th of January Octavas and Octavitas is celebrated.
For a Puerto Rican experience of a lifetime, wonderful traditional holiday foods, fascinating traditions and a celebration that never seems to end, travel to Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico you will experience an unforgettable Christmas and festive season.