The vast majority of Latin Americans are Catholic. So, as you can imagine religious festivals are celebrated with gusto! And Christmas is no exception! Are you looking for something different this festive season? Well, why not check out some of our suggestions for spending Christmas in Latin America.
One of the most colourful places to spend Christmas is Medellin! You cannot miss the city’s incredible Christmas lights display, which illuminates the city from 29 November to 6 January. The festival has become hugely popular with both domestic and international tourists. So make sure you book early to secure accommodation. And after Christmas is over, head to Cali for the exuberant salsa festival, La Feria de Cali!
Pastorelas and Posadas are reenactments of nativity scenes. While, Pastorelas are often performed by children and reenact the birth of Christ. Whereas, Posadas reenact the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph. In this ritual, the guests of the party are ‘pilgrims’ that sing a song asking for shelter. Then the hosts reply in song before letting them enter, and serving hot punch, cookies and tamales.
On Christmas Eve, Cuzco’s Plaza de Armas holds the vast Santuranticuy Market. Here, hundreds of vendors set up stands displaying everything a family needs to create a spectacular manger scene. Then, families head home to have dinner together and celebrate Christmas at midnight. Afterwards, many return to the main square and set off fireworks.
In Oaxaca, the 23rd of December is known as the Night of the Radishes. For the event, the main square of the city is transformed into a showcase of intricately carved radishes. Yes, that’s right! Radishes are shaped to look like Jesus and other characters in the nativity scene. And the competition is fierce, with a prize given for the best radish.
Last but not lease, Panamanians celebrate the end of the year by creating a life-sized doll and propping it outside of their house. Then, on New Year’s Eve, the dolls are blown up to symbolize the end of the year and thus, a fresh start. Quite an explosive start to the year, no?
Would you like to spend Christmas in Latin America? Contact us and we’ll help you get there!