This post is also available in: Español
- 1 Curiosities of Christmas in Latin America
- 2 How is Christmas celebrated in Latin America?
Christmas trees, colourful lights, fireworks… each country has its own Christmas traditions, so you can imagine how different this celebration can be among Latin American countries.
Although the origin of most of the Christmas traditions in this region come from Spanish customs, each one has added its personal touch to Christmas.
That is why today we talk to you about how Christmas is celebrated in Latin America, what are its traditions and some curiosities that you should not miss, keep reading!
Curiosities of Christmas in Latin America
Christmas in summer in Latin America
When we think of Christmas, images of snowy landscapes, reindeer and sledges and hot meals come to mind… but everything is different in the southern hemisphere. One of the peculiarities of Christmas in Latin America is that it is summer there, so they spend Christmas on the beach, with high temperatures and no snow. A totally different Christmas than the one we know in the northern hemisphere!
What do people eat at Christmas in Latin America?
Christmas in Latin America, as we have already mentioned, is a hot season, so traditional dishes are different from what we are used to seeing in the northern hemisphere.
It is common to prepare cold dishes such as salads or seafood as well as to cook meats at the barbecue and for dessert prepare ice cream and refreshing fruits. But don’t worry, it is also usual to eat chocolate, nougat and other types of sweets such as panettone, which they call Easter bread there.
How is Christmas celebrated in Latin America?
Latin America is a mostly Christian region, so Christmas is one of the most important celebrations of the year. As in any part of the year, it is a time to gather with family and friends, have a good time and enjoy the food.
Christmas in Argentina
Argentines start decorating their houses from the first days of December and celebrate this festivity by gathering on Christmas Eve to enjoy their famous asados, so if you are travelling to Argentina… you should join this custom!
And on New Year’s Eve, in some cities such as Buenos Aires or Ciudad de Plata, each neighbourhood has the custom of creating a straw doll called “año Viejo” (old year), which they burn at the end of the year.
Christmas in Mexico
Christmas in Mexico has a great variety of traditions, one of them, the posadas, which are processions in which they look for lodges for the birth of the baby Jesus or the day of the Three Kings in which they eat the Rosca de Reyes.
They also celebrate the New Year with great parties, so a good idea is to spend New Year’s Eve on the beaches of Tulum or Cancun and enjoy the fireworks, which can be a unique way to start the year.
Christmas in Chile
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are special days for Chileans and it is typical for these days to eat roast chicken or turkey and drink monkey tail, which is a cocktail of aguardiente.
If you travel to Chile, the one who will bring you the presents on December 25th will not be Santa Claus, but the Viejito Pascuero who also travels with his reindeer and enters through the chimney or window.
Christmas in Colombia
Christmas in Colombia begins on the Night of the Candles on December 7 at night, when the country is illuminated with candles and lanterns and the Novena of Christmas Eve begins, in which families gather to pray during the nine days before Christmas.
If you travel to Colombia in the new year, it is common to take a little walk with suitcases that same night so that the following year will be full of travel. Now you know how to start the year!
Christmas in Perú
Peruvians celebrate Christmas in a similar way to Americans, with stuffed turkey as the main dish and in some places with a roasted guinea pig, one of the most exotic dishes in Latin America.
If you take a walk through the streets of Cuzco you will see the Christmas market, where merchants from all over Peru gather in the Plaza de Armas. In addition, people usually make bonfires and camping on the beach especially the last night of the year.
As you can see, Christmas in Latin America is celebrated in each country with different but very similar customs: they all have in common to spend good times with the family.
Now that you know how Christmas is celebrated in this region, what is the tradition that has attracted your attention the most? May the old man bring you many gifts tonight!