Yes “Parranda” is what you usually hear everywhere in Puerto Rico. Like in the United States they have Christmas Carols, we have “parrandas”. The difference is the music is more carribean style. How does it work? Usually a group of friends get together with musical instruments (congas, maracas, guitar) things that make noise. They start around 11:00 p.m. and they all get into their cars and follow one another to another friends house who doesn’t have a clue that these friends are visiting. While they are sleeping these people are outside the house planning what music they are going to play and that’s when you hear “Parranda” and the music starts playing. Until they don’t open the door the people keeps playing, once you open you have to give them food and drinks and have fun with them. You can either join them to go to the next house or let them go after a while. They keep going from house to house until 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. Once they get to the last house, the last person usually make what we call “el sopon”, is like a chicken soup with a lot of vegetables. Other than that Christmas starts after Thanksgiving and we also have the traditional christmas tree and christmas decoration. Traditionally all the family gets together and we eat rice with green beans (arroz con gandules), pork (lechon asado), “morcillas”, plantain with beef or chicken (pasteles) and for dessert sweet rice (arroz con dulce). There is a lot of variety in our holiday menu but I bet this is one of the most popular ones. We have “la misa del gallo” on December 24th, is a mass right at midnight. Our holiday is until January 15, since we celebrate The Three Kings day on January 6th and then we have what we call the “octavitas” 8 more days of party and celebration. I hope this helps everyone understand why we have so much fun during this time of the year.
San Juan, Puerto Rico