Christmas in Colombia
Currently US christmas’ tendences had made their entrance in Colombian culture, so the Christmas settings usually starts on December 1th, if not before.
Christmas tree is now a very important part of the Colombian holidays and is not anymore considered a luxury or ornamental article, so it’s Santa Claus.
But, in spite of that, “El niño Jesús” or Jesus Child is predominant in almost all the towns of the country, being the one that gives presents to the children and as the symbol of Colombian Christmas.
The first national holiday takes place on December 7th, the “Candle Light”, in which all the neighbourhoods throughout the country light candles and put it on the walkway and in the edges of the streets.
December 8th is a day of obligation with the church, and the colombians pray to Virgin Mary on that day. Is the day of the Sacred and Inmaculated Conception; but also colombian Beatlemaniacs reunite in different places to conmemore the death of John Lennon, on the same day.
Since 16th of December people goes to the “pesebre”
(a representation of the place where Jesus born made with plastic and paper) and prays the “Novena de Aguinaldos” in honor to Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, the Wise Men and the “Niño Jesús”
Christmas Eve is a little different in Colombia than in other countries; is not the spirit of relaxing but cheering and rejoycement.
People, normally family, friends and neighbours, reunite to dance and eat, the Colombian Christmas recipe is the Natilla, a corn pie, but also there are some variations in that delicious dessert, for example “Arequipe Natilla” made from a milk-derivated product very usual in Colombia, called “Arequipe”, is very sweet, and there is also the “Coconut Natilla”.
Usual drinks are the “Sabajón”, an alcoholic dirnk made with Tequila or Aguardiente, eggs and milk, Whiskey and Wine.
Buñuelos is another recipe made with corn flour and cheese, is very commom the turkey, too.
Althought there is a special day conmemorating the arrive of the Wise Men (6th of January) people still likes to give presents on December 25th.
So, Colombian Christmas Holidays goes till January 6th, when the “pesebre” is stored again, waiting another year in a box until Colombians share again the beautiful feelings of Peace and Love that Christmas blooms, not only in us, in the whole world.
Feliz Navidad para todos!!!