In South America Christmas is celebrated mostly as a Harvest festival. The Native Bolivians celebrate Christmas mainly like this. They thank each other for the completion of a year's work. The festival tends to become a feast of adoration of the Goddess Mother Earth, they pray to her for their well being and prosperity and to bring a fruitful harvest in the coming year. In Brazil Santa Claus is not so popular but those who know they call him by the name of Papa Noel.
The children are not so familiar with Christmas trees, but they do
have a crèche or Presepio, representing the Christ's
birth. Gifts and toys are exchanged during the holiday season after
which the Presepio is put away until the following
Christmas. In Ecuador the children write letters to the Christ-child
and place shoes in the window in which he may place toys as he
passes by on Christmas Eve. Noise-making toys are common and are
used with much energy on the streets on Christmas morning. It has a
warm climatic condition so most of the celebrations are in the
streets. There are firecrackers, brass bands, and dancing. At
midnight everyone goes for Mass after which they enjoy dinner with
family. In Columbia, 90% of population is Roman Catholic so the
Christian aspect of Christmas is mostly celebrated. City streets and
parks are illuminated with lights giving a festive look to the city.
Places like Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay more or less has a
similar kind of Christmas celebration. Most of the Christmas customs
are similar to that of USA and UK. As most Latin American nations,
Chile's Christmas celebration centers on the church and the family.
The Catholics here observe nine days of prayer and fasting before
Christmas called the novena. The menu for the dinner on the
Christmas day consists of turkey, seafood and an array of salads,
and olives, accompanied by the local wine, for which Chile is
famous. The deserts always include Pan de Pascua, a sweet Christmas
bread, along with fruit, cake and cookies. In Argentina people go to
church with family and after that they have a family get together.
The dinner consists of pork, turkey, chicken and a great variety of
meals. People also have sweet items, cider, beer and juice for the
occasion. Houses are decorated with red and white garlands. The
Christmas trees are decorated with colored lights, ornaments and
Father Christmas placed on top of it. Venezuela also celebrates
Christmas with similar enthusiasm and grandeur. On 16th December
families bring out their pesebres, which is a specially
designed, and thought out depiction of the nativity scene.
Most of the places in Latin America Christmas celebration centers on Church and family. This article will give you an idea how Christmas is celebrated in Latin American nations.