Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

12/10/09

Navidades en Puerto Rico

Christmas in Puerto Rico starts with Advent and ends with the octavitas, eight days after Epiphany. People go parrandiando, singing Christmas songs from house to house. Some of the songs are not religious, like Si me dan pasteles (pasteles are like tamales but they are made with yucca or plantains and are wrapped in banana leaves). The song, accompanied by guitars, drums, trumpets and maracas--or pots and pans--calls for warm pasteles. Each house owner opens her doors--even if it is after three in the morning--and treats the singers with food and drinks. Then the owner joins the group and they all go to the next house. If you can, you stay up until the Misa de Aguinaldo at five in the morning. After Mass, you eat breakfast and go to bed. Work? It's on hold until after the octavitas. Do not expect much service during Navidades en Puerto Rico.

5 comments:

Lauren said...

I think I would enjoy a Christmas in Puerto Rico-- I love the music and the visiting house to house--will you be there for Christmas Carmen?

Stephanie said...

It sounds so fun and festive!

Edie said...

What a wonderful, friendly tradition!

Mark said...

It's always fascinating to learn about traditions in other cultures. Sounds like quite the celebration!!

David LaRochelle said...

It sounds like a lot of fun, Carmen, even if I'm not the night owl I used to be. Do you ever do anything like this where you're living now?