Christmas in Puerto Rico is like no other...The period is quite long as
it extends from early December to mid-January. The air is filled with typical songs such
as the Aguinaldos ..People visit friends and family in the asaltos in which
they go from house to house singing and partying. Typical instruments such as the guiro,
the cuatro and the guitar are used to make lovely music.The hosts lavish their
visitors with food and drinks and later join the group as they move to another
house..Usually the asaltos or trullas start late at night and may go on till
daybreak.... Originally these were not advised so people would not know they would be
getting an asalto or trulla in any particular night; now often the asaltos
might be fully planned.
Puerto Ricans usually put up a nice Christmas Tree with all the trimmings--a custom
obtained from American influence. As in most things, Puerto Ricans have adapted American
customs while keeping their own in typical celebrations.
In the early mornings (5-6 a.m.) many go daily to Church the nine days prior to
Christmas for the Aguinaldo Masses in which religious and typical Christmas music
is sung as a backdrop to the Mass.
Puerto Rican typical food is served through the festivities and specially for the
Christmas Eve celebration. Dinner, which includes a rice dish such as Rice with Pigeon
Peas(Gandules), Pasteles, prepared with a dough of grated green bananas and
plantains stuffed with meat, and the roast pork typically prepared "a la
varita"( pig roasted over a charcoal pit). A drink of "Coquito"-- a kind of
strong egg-nog which includes rum and coconut milk will top it off !! For dessert, nothing
more delicious than tembleque, a nice coconut-based custard...
The family usually gets together for Dinner on Christmas Eve and continue festivities
with some good music and partying. Then at Midnight many will go to Church for the
Midnight Mass (Misa del Gallo).Presents are interchanged on Christmas
morning when children look anxiously under the Christmas tree for presents brought by
Santa..(Puerto Rican children are quite lucky as they will get presents in Christmas and
also later in Three King's day). Christmas Day is a time to spend among the family and
repeat some of the eating and partying..
But Christmas is not over yet in Puerto Rico !!!
Parties and the Christmas spirit continue until the New Year..New Year's Eve !!!
Another reason to celebrate and enjoy more food and music while all say good-bye to the
Old and salute the New Year..
Think it's all over? Not quite yet in Puerto Rico...While in the States the Holidays
will be over by now, the fun still continues in Boriken!!! For the next 5 days Puerto
Ricans and children in particular prepare for another festivity of Puerto Rican
culture...The Three Kings' Day on the 6th of January...the Feast of the Epiphany,
celebrating the visit to the Christ Lord by the Magi bringing presents from the Far
East..The kids will cut some grass and place it in a small box and put it under the
Christmas Tree waiting for the Kings to bring them presents --the Camels will need a lot
of grass to feed after their long trip from the Orient..
Think it's over? Not quite yet...Many refuse to concede it is all over and continue to
celebrate through las octavitas or eight more days of party and fun....
OK....not over yet...!!! For many go on to the final stretch..las
octavonas.. You guessed it !!! eight more days of final fun...
And then....Puerto Ricans rest for a few days and begin planning for next Christmas...
Christmas in Puerto Rico Info..
Your letter to the Threee Kings
Christmas Around the World
World Wide Christmas
Home Page for the Holidays
Puerto Rican Christmas Music
La Parranda Navidena
Ese Pobre Lechón | A
Las Arandelas | Alegría, Alegría, Alegría
Los Reyes de Oriente | El Jolgorio