What Is Christmas Traditions?

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Every December and January in the United States friends and families gather to celebrate the upcoming holidays. In preparation for Christmas it is common to see lights hung on houses, Christmas trees decorated with ornaments, kids writing out their wish list to Santa Claus, and even Santa himself riding through multiple neighborhoods on a fire truck. When the New Year rolls around, it is common in the United States for friends and loved ones to stay up until midnight, gather around the television to watch the ball drop, and possibly enjoy a few celebratory drinks as well. As widely recognized as our holiday traditions are, countries in Latin America, specifically Brazil and Venezuela, have their own way of celebrating Christmas and New Years.…show more content…
Since the weather in Brazil during the Christmas holiday is usually hot, some families celebrate by going to the beach during the day. At night, it is customary for Christian families to eat dinner consisting of pork, ham, turkey, Panettone, and Brazilian nuts at around 10pm. When dinner is finished, families will attend a midnight mass, or Missa do Galo. Since pine so hard to come across in Brazil, houses are usually decorated with artificial Christmas trees which will hopefully be filled with gifts from Papai Noel, or Santa Claus. Children will often leave a sock on their windowsill before they go to sleep on Christmas Eve, and wake up to the sock being gone and a present being left by Papai Noel. Like the United States, many friends and family participate in an amigo secreto, or secret Santa. On Christmas Day everyone reveals who their amigo secreto was. Christmas Day in Brazil is usually more relaxing for families. They often spend the day together, enjoy left over food from the night before, and possibly attend an afternoon mass. A specific tradition that is only present in Brazil is the idea of a 13th salary. In the month of December, Brazilian workers are paid a 13th salary, or essentially paid their salary twice for that month. Brazil does this in hopes of boosting the economy around Christmas…show more content…
But when it comes to household decorations, nativity scenes, or naciementos are more common in households than Christmas trees. These nativity scenes are often made of clay and referred to as pesebre, and are often an elaborate replica of the manger at Bethlehem. From the dates of December 16th to December 24th it is common to see people roller skate to morning mass. The roads usually shut down at around 8 A.M. so that it is safe for skaters to travel. Some families also make it a custom to repaint their house every year a few weeks before Christmas, signaling that the decorating process has begun. A few of the most common dishes enjoyed on Christmas Eve are Hallacas, Pan de Jamon, Dulce de Lechoza, chicken salad, and Pernil. After all the celebrating has finished and it is time to go to bed, children will be dreaming about what gifts they will wake up to on Christmas Day. However, unlike in the United States and Brazil, children in Venezuela believe that they receive gifts from St. Nicholas and Baby Jesus rather than Santa

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