Celebrating Nochebuena / Christmas Eve

Nochebuena, as Christmas Eve is also known in the Americas, is joyously celebrated with family, a religious service, and a traditional dinner menu.  The traditions are varied among cultures and celebrations are often elaborate.  In Puerto Rico, the Nochebuena meal can include roast pork, pigeon peas, sausages, and a variety of side dishes.  Parrandas, essentially a caroling block party, begin during the season of Advent in Puerto Rico and continue through Nochebuena.  In Mexico, the final Posada of the season is celebrated on Christmas Eve.  The word “Posada” means inn (or hotel) and commemorates the Biblical story of the Holy Family searching for a room on the first Christmas Eve.  The Posadas begin on December 16, and are a series of nightly processions and parties as participants walk from house to house.  The Nochebuena Posada is followed by a late night Christmas mass, and then by a family dinner at midnight, which can include bacalao (cod) and ponche, a spicy fruit drink that is served warm. In whichever country, region, or tradition you are spending your holiday, we wish you a Feliz Navidad and Merry Christmas. Image of book cover of the children’s story on the Flower of Christmas Eve by Tomie dePaola

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