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La Navidad en el Mundo Hispano
Transcript of La Navidad en el Mundo Hispano
Christmas in the Hispanic World
In the U.S., we have many Christmas traditions. We decorate the tree, hang stockings, make cookies and wait for Santa Claus. Depending on your religious beliefs, you may even go to church. Christmas in the Hispanic world is similar but also has some specific traditions.
Christmas in the U.S.
There are many traditions in Mexico:
1. Las Posadas: This is a re-enactment of Mary and Joseph's journey. A group of children go house to house, looking for lodging for the couple. It usually ends at the church, where mass is held, followed by a party.
2. Religious observation of Christmas takes place on December 25, beginning with a midnight mass
(Misa de Gallo).
Navidad en México
In Spain, some important traditions are:
La Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve, is a time for family and the Misa del Gallo (midnight mass)
Día de los Santos Inocentes originally commemorated children that were killed by Herodes as he searched for the baby Jesus. Now, the day is marked by kids (los inocentes) playing pranks.
New Year's Eve - Just before midnight, Spaniards eat 12 grapes as the clock chimes in order to ensure good fortune in the New Year.
Día de los Reyes Magos is a time for kids to receive gifts from the Wise Kings from the East.
Navidad en España
In Barcelona, each nativity scene contains a small figure squatting with his pants down and..."pooing." His "poo" is a sign of good luck because it fertilizes the land and promises a good harvest for the next year.
This is another figure from Cataluña. The name means, "The Poo Log" (more or less) in Catalán. A small log is filled with treats, covered with a blanket, and painted with a smiley face. It is beaten like a piñata on Christmas Eve, and it will "poo out treats." (The link below includes lyrics to the song that is sung during this activity.)
Interesting Christmas Figures from Spain
What about gifts?
3. Gifts: Traditionally, gifts are exchanged on January 6, also called Epiphany. In Mexico, it is Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day).
Other Interesting Christmas Figures from Spain
: This coal vender comes from el País Vasco (Basque Country) and leaves coal for naughty children and gifts for nice ones.
La Navidad en Argentina
Christmas traditions vary in Spanish-speaking regions of South America. In Argentina, for example, Christmas celebrations take place in a warm, breezy climate because of its location in the Southern hemisphere.
Argentina's Christmas celebration shows a wonderful convergence of European, American, and Hispanic traditions. For example, kids in many South American countries write letters to el Niño Jesús (baby Jesus). However, Argentinian kids write to Santa.
In Argentina, instead of midnight mass, many families light paper lanterns and send them into the sky.
La Navidad en Perú
Some special Peruvian traditions include:
1. El retablo: Each home has this nativity scene, although the animals in the scene include llamas and alpacas (native to the region). The
is a form of folk art, but it was used centuries ago by priests to convert Peru's indigenous people to Catholicism.
2. Food: Many families eat corn dough-based tamales with aji hot sauce on the side.
3. Although fireworks are technically illegal, they are used throughout Christmas Eve.
La Navidad en el Mundo Hispano
As you can see, traditions in the Hispanic world vary a bit from those in the U.S. Although gifts may not always be brought by Santa Claus, and nativity scenes can look a bit different, the reason for the season remains the same: family and shared beliefs.