December is a very important month for Colombians. Apart from Christmas, there are all the other major events leading up to this. Different countries and cultures have different ways of celebrating Christmas. And Colombia is no different.
December 3 – a very important date in the culture of Colombia. It’s the day when the biggest Christmas tree in the city is lit in a place called “El Tunal”. It doesn’t end here. Four days later – on December 7 – the city’s lights come on, giving a spectacular view of the country.
Travesía en Navidad is the most important event of the month, beginning at the same time as novenas (December 16 to 23). This year is also a big year for Medellín’s lights as it turns 50 years old this December. This year we can enjoy the lights from December 2 to January 8.
Now let’s move onto traditions. How do Colombians actually celebrate Christmas? Starting in the evening of December 7 every year is La Noche de las Velitas (Night of the Candles). This night is celebrated more or less in the same way – by lighting candles – although some minor details do differ from region to region, including where the candles are placed, when they are lit etc. Even so, the Colombians celebrate the arrival of Mary, making wishes to her for the upcoming year and giving thanks for the years that is ending.
Starting on the ninth and ending on the 24th day of December is novenas (meaning ninth). This is a gathering that happens over nine nights before Christmas, ending when the birth of Jesus is celebrated. Colombians host novenas for close friends, family, colleagues, classmates – for anyone they want really. Traditional Colombian Christmas food is eaten and traditional Christmas music is sung.
Then we have the actual Christmas Day. Unlike in other countries where it is celebrated on the 25th, in Colombia, they start at midnight and go into the early hours of the 25th, starting dinner at around 11pm on Christmas Eve.
What other Christmas traditions are there in Colombia? Find out how a Colombian Christmas is different from in your own country. Chat to other members (especially the locals) on LatamDate.com and find out more.
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