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A Merry Puertorrican Christmas

Updated on November 25, 2013
ananceleste profile image

Anan is an online blogger and private consultant since 2009 in the areas of relationships and interfaith spirituality.

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.

Una Parranda

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...

Arroz con gandules
Arroz con gandules
Lechon asado
Lechon asado
Guineitos en escabeche
Guineitos en escabeche


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...

Arroz con Dulce
Arroz con Dulce

Is all about memories...

It does not matter how you and your family celebrate Christmas, is about creating memories and passing family values to your children.

There is no greater feeling that watch the next generation keeping the traditions of old, so that their children tomorrow may enjoy them as well... Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad!

Pilgrimage of the Three Wise Men


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    • IslandBites profile image


      5 years ago from Puerto Rico

      This is a great hub, ananceleste. Loved it.

      But I have to correct a few things. The "Wise Men Day" is not the 5th, it is January 6. Lincoln has nothing to do with the end of slavery in PR. Escabeche is made with green bananas, not plantains. And pasteles are mainly green bananas and yautia. Sorry, can't help it! hehe

      We do love Navidades!

    • ananceleste profile imageAUTHOR

      Anan Celeste 

      6 years ago from California

      Thank you Teaches!!!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      Ana, You have reminded me of my family celebrations and how much I miss them. It is true, being hispanic, our family and the associated foods, mean so much to us. Love your post and the music videos. God bless.

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Useful information. It was good to read about the culture of Puerto Rico.

    • ananceleste profile imageAUTHOR

      Anan Celeste 

      6 years ago from California

      Thanks Luisa!

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 

      6 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Thanks for sharing about Puerto Rican traditions!

    • ananceleste profile imageAUTHOR

      Anan Celeste 

      6 years ago from California

      Hi shiningirisheyes!

      Then you would love the three kings promise festival! Is a pilgrimish to the church carrying the image of The 3 wise men after making a promise to Saint Anthony with a band of musicians. Is so beautiful, it makes you cry. This tradition is over 400 years old, still practiced in Puerto Rico today on the 5th of January. Blessings and Merry Christmas.

    • ananceleste profile imageAUTHOR

      Anan Celeste 

      6 years ago from California

      Hi Debbie!

      But you have to promise me that we will dance together... Then we can sit down and eat until we gain ten pounds!:) Merry Christmas dear.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      A beautiful cultural adventure. We focus our Catholic faith on the same concept. But yours sounds like a fusing of wonderful talented musicians and a lengthy joyous journey as well.

      Thanks for the share.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Anan I am coming to your house for Christmas dinner.. it looks so good.. I love those foods.. my daughters in laws are Spanish and they cook so good.. and their great hub my dear... I loce it and I am sharing and pinning

      Merry Christmas



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