Puerto Rican Style Christmas
An Extra Long Christmas
Christmas is a favorite time of the year in Puerto Rico. It is, after all, a celebration of the birth of our Messiah and Lord, Jesus Christ.
There is no using Xmas or Happy Holidays in Puerto Rico. It is:
beginning in early December and not ending until mid January.
It is a celebration like no other and this is some of what you can expect if you are in Puerto Rico, or in a Puerto Rican community in the United States:
Early in December you will find citizens of Puerto Rico decorating their homes with lights, displays and of course, Christmas trees.
Workers for each pueblo are also installing and decorating in many different ways.
Everywhere you go on the island, you will see the lights and joy of Christmas.
You will also find many people playing and singing the wonderful aguinaldos. They are Puerto Rican traditional Christmas songs.
One thing that Puerto Rican citizens never run short of during the Christmas season is food and drink.
Maggie makes a great batch of coquito. It is an eggnog like drink that is wonderful. It can be drank with, or without alcohol.
Don't forget pasteles. These wonderful items are wrapped in leaves and boiled. Maggie also knows how to make some great pasteles. With those, you have to have rice and beans.
Never, during Christmas in Puerto Rico, do you leave out lechón. Yes, lechón is a pig that is roasted. Pork in many forms is ingested. Have you tried morcilla? You must, but don't ask what it is until you have tried it.
Christmas and food in Puerto Rico goes hand in hand.
In the United States, we have Christmas Carolers. In Puerto Rico, they are called parranderos. Parranderos visit homes after 10pm. One will usually have a guitar, another a tambourine, and they all sing wonderful Boricua Christmas songs.
The parranda "victim" then invites them in for some refreshments and dancing. The parranderos make their way from home to home all night long.
Every homeowner was given hints about the parranda. The last one for the evening, which is about 3am, has a wonderful asopao de pollo ready for the participants. Asopao de pollo is chicken soup. I can taste it just thinking about it.
That day when Santa had visited the night before.
Yes, Puerto Rico children will awaken to find some presents under the tree. More food, coquito and music.
It doesn't stop on Christmas day; the party goes on through New Years with fireworks and fun.
That is usually the end in the United States, but not in Puerto Rico!
3 Kings Day
I am glad I didn't know any Puerto Rican children when I was a kid because I would have been jealous.
They have another gift giving day.
On January 5th, the children take a shoe box and scissors and they cut grass for the camels to eat. The boxes are placed under the beds of parents, grandparents and other close relatives. The camels eat the grass and Los Reyes (3 Kings) leave gifts and candy filling the shoebox.
This is another joyous day for Puerto Rican children.
It is finally over.
Puerto Ricans just cannot stop celebrating.
8 more days of fun and exciting Christmas celebrating. Only 8 and then.
Just can't stop celebrating
8 more days.
Yes, it will end now, but it won't be long and we will start the Christmas Celebration all over again in Puerto Rico.
Please pass the flan.
Feliz Navidad from Lastheart and Froggy and also from the great Jose Feliciano
© 2014 Greg Boudonck
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