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A Merry Puertorrican Christmas
Traditions from yesteryear
Where I come from, Christmas is not another holiday. Is indeed an opportunity to come together and celebrate the birth of our Lord and savoir Jesuschrist. Even in the early years of our tropical island, the Spanish (mainly catholic)influence has rooted itself in Puerto Rico.
Combined with many other influences such as the slaves that resided in the island. That was the genesis of a beautiful tradition. A celebration that lasts up to two months to include the Wise Men day in January 6th. Filled with music, food and family gatherings.
Music is the key ingredient in a Puerto Rican Christmas. But we can never forget the traditional dishes that makes everyone forget their diet.
Christmas music you can dance to
In every culture there is a strong connection to it's music. Puerto Rico enjoys a rich array of musical genres. It does not matter what kind of music you like, we have a Christmas version of it.
This is great example of a traditional "Parranda Navideña".
Most locals have a background in music. So, every Christmas we go crazy. Is an opportunity to visit relatives and get together with friends at the sound of music. In every town there is a form of musical celebration. Concerts, Christmas specials on TV, and even door to door musical performances called "Trulla Navideña". To bring a little Christmas spirit with our traditional music, that of course is music you can dance to.
For the young blood
When a Puerto Rican is away from home
We can be in the Himalayas and that won't impede our festivities. On the same note, it can be painful to be away from our roots. Is very common for any of us to be home sick at Christmas, but for a Puerto Rican is indeed devastating. We even miss the smell of the air. The food, the family and most of all the connection to the celebration itself. Many don't understand that the warmth and joy that being among the people and home can bring. Is like a yearning for a long lost love. That is why, no matter where you might find a Puerto Rico native you will find our cuisine and our music.
The tradition is strong in this one...
The famous Christmas banquet. Every culture there is a unbreakable link to food. In Puerto Rico food is the insurance and conection to our roots. For example:
Arroz con gandules- combination of yellow rice with pigeon peas
Lechon azado- BBQ pork ( the entire animal!)
Guineitos en escabeche- green bananas in oils and spices
Coquito- a classic drink, compared to eggnog.
Pasteles- meat inside a pocket of bananas,yautia or yuca.
Dont forget... Dessert!
I am a sucker for sweets and in my home there is always room for dessert. Let's see...