Traditions and Holidays Celebrated by Latinos

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In The Latino Holiday Book: From Cinco de Mayo to Dia de Los Muertos: The Celebrations and Traditions of Hispanic-Americans, by Valerie Menard, there are numerous amounts of traditions and celebrations for Latinos, most separated by the seasons. In the spring, there are the celebrations of Renewal. During the first week of March, Cuban Americans celebrate Calle Ocho, a celebration similar to Mardi Gras. Named after the street called Little Havana, Miami, this celebration is reserved for salsa dancing to merengue and salsa music as well as eating and drinking before Lent, a tradition where one of the Christian faith sacrifices something for a month. While celebrated mostly by Cuban Americans, the ten day celebration has a multicultural crowd from blacks to other Latinos.

After Calle Ocho and Lent comes Easter Sunday, where the celebration of Easter honors Christ’s resurrection. Since eggs are symbols for renewal and is perfect for spring, it is used for decorations and egg hunting activities. Mexican Americans put a different spin on the event, draining and cleaning eggshells a month before Easter to create cascarones. Cascarón or cascarones means eggshell. Cascarones are filled with confetti and closed with colored tissue paper to make hats that can be cracked over someone’s head. In April, there is a recent Mexican celebration that was immigrated to the United States called Día de los Niños/ Día de los Libros which translated means Day of Children/Day of Books. It has been reintroduced to the U.S. as a celebration of children and reading. Today, it can be celebrated at libraries, at a parade or at home with children. In May, there is Cinco de Mayo. It is already known in the U.S. to be a day of party or fiesta, but it also g...

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...elebration where it features a Mass with a rosary and a musical festival which includes food. Every year according to director of the Hispanic Ministry Office of the Catholic Diocese in New York, Sonia Casanova, the event gets bigger every year. The L.A. Fiesta Broadway event for Cinco de Mayo was expected to recognize Mexican American culture as well as bringing together the community. Also during Cinco de Mayo, there are speeches by elected officials and an education program. During the Feast of San Juan Bautista, the locals gather at the beach to cast off evil energies in Puerto Rico and in New York, the Puerto Ricans attend mass and have an award ceremony where a medallion is given to a community leader who has been outstanding overall. For National Puerto Rican Day, the parade thrown every year brings the community together to celebrate Puerto Rican culture.

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