Christmas in Puerto Rico is celebrated like no other place in the world. The Christmas season in Puerto Rico is long. The Christmas celebration starts right after Thanksgiving and continues through the mid of January, a long and delightful party time. Christmas day, New Years, and Three Kings Day on January 6, are all Holidays. The Holidays in Puerto Rico are spent with family and friends, and there is always a party almost every day, either at a friends house, relatives, or at work.
There are many events during Christmas time in Puerto Rico: Festivals, boat parades, and New Year's Eve party celebrations. Most of the big parties are held at the hotels, such as the New Year's Eve party. Puerto Ricans come out dress to impress, and to party all night long. Smaller parties are held at relatives and friends homes.
Food is an important element during the Christmas Holidays in Puerto Rico. Some of the typical dishes this time of the year are: Arroz con gandules, pasteles and lechon ( pork). Puerto Ricans go to the countryside to eat pork roasted on a spit, it is very popular on January 6 ( Three Kings Day). The Holiday of January 6, (El Dia de Los Reyes) is as important as Christmas Day. Children receive gifts on both days, on December 25th the gifts come from Santa, and on January 6, they come from the Three Kings.
Aguinaldos (carols) are the custom sounds this time of the year in the island. Puerto Ricans get together to sing and dance. A typical custom, but not practiced very much these days, are the parrandas or asaltos. It is like Christmas caroling, but with an edge. The custom here, is to go to a relative or a friends house after midnight ( or wait until they have gone to sleep), with a group of people and musical instruments, to sing and wake them up. After your parranda or group has been let in the house, there is more singing and dancing, and then the recipients of the parranda joins the group, and they all go along to another house to deliver another parranda. This can go on all night long!
Now, you may be asking, don't Puerto Ricans have to go to work in between all these celebrations? Yes, people still have to work, but work takes a back seat during this time of the year. If you want to experience the Christmas Holidays like you have not experienced them before, head over to Puerto Rico. The weather is great, the people are happy, the beaches are inviting, and you will participate in a very festive time: Feliz Navidad in Puerto Rico.
Take a look at this YouTube video with the sounds and images of Christmas in Puerto Rico:
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