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Celebrate Christmas Traditions in South America with Latin Excursions

It's seemingly the same thing every year, right? One day you're sunning yourself on your back porch under the July sun, and the next day, it's already the December holidays! With so much going on in our daily lives, the festival season may come as a welcome break to take time to reconnect with loved ones and celebrate the blessings of the concluding year.


It's seemingly the same thing every year, right? One day you're sunning yourself on your back porch under the July sun, and the next day, it's already the December holidays! With so much going on in our daily lives, the festival season may come as a welcome break to take time to reconnect with loved ones and celebrate the blessings of the concluding year.

The fascinating thing about Christmas and the holidays is that no matter where you celebrate, no matter which cultural traditions are prominent, and no matter what foods are eaten, there tends always to be one constant in the midst of it all: a focus on family and friends.

If you are in South America with us this year at this time, be sure to take part in some of the local customs during this most lovely time of the year, and may your holiday season be bright and merry!

  • Peru - dine on panettone bread loafs the size of your head filled with candied fruits, drink spiced hot chocolate, feast on turkey, and celebrate December 24 midnight with fireworks and the clinking of champagne glasses.
  • Ecuador - keep an eye out for colorful Christmas day processions in any town or city led by a decorated llama, offer fruits and small gifts in front of nativity scenes set about ubiquitously, and enjoy a grand meal featuring lamb meat, potatoes, and special bread.
  • Colombia - the Christmas season starts on December 7 here, where you will find yourself taking part in the "Day of Candles" with the outsides of homes, businesses, and churches lined with lit candles all along the sidewalks and entrances; traditional foods include ajiaco (a soup with potatoes), chicken and natilla (a corn-based dessert), and buñuelos (fried balls of sweet ough) .
  • Argentina - cotton balls replace the lack of snow in Argentina giving way to a white Christmas, spiced cider is every child and adult's preferred drink, and a dish called niños envueltos made of steaks filled with minced meat, spices, boiled eggs, and onions will certainly leave you with a full belly.
  • Brazil - attend mass in the afternoon or early evening, prepare a meal including turkey, ham, various fruits, and vegetables; and of course the children wait eagerly to open their presents at midnight.
  • Chile - the Chileans love to get a bit of drink in them during this festive time considered to begin 9 days before December 25, especially one called Cola de Mono or "Monkeys Tail" which includes aguardiente spirit, rum, coffee, milk, and anise; a special sweet bread is often enjoyed as dessert after the night's special dinner.
  • Venezuela - fill your ears with the tunes of aguinaldos, traditional Christmas songs performed with local instruments; then go to mass at any of the many churches but of course arrive in style via roller skates.


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