The smell of stuffed chicken from the different houses, the taste of delicious Christmas Nacatamales on the 24th and the 31st or welcoming relatives who we have not seen in a long time are only a part of the customs and how Nicaraguans spend Christmas in Nicaragua.
Christmas is a term of Latin origin and means the birth of Jesus Christ in our world. The term is also used to refer to the day it is celebrated: December 25th (for Catholic, Anglican, Romanian Orthodox and some Protestant churches) or January 7th (for Orthodox churches that did not adopt the Gregorian calendar).
In Nicaragua, the celebration of Christmas implies several traditions. The celebration prior to the official date begins at dinner on December 24th (which is Christmas Eve in several countries) and extends until after midnight, that is, until the day of Jesus’ birth. Cribs are assembled (models of Bethlehem representing the nativity), carols are sung and a pine tree is decorated. Some people go out for a walk or to a party but before midnight they return home to wish “Merry Christmas” to the family that has gathered for the celebrations and to all dine together. In general, dinner is the traditional “stuffed chicken” recipe that has been passed down by the grandmothers to their families. In some homes the tradition of dinner has changed and they opt for a more sophisticated menu. At midnight, some families light up the skies with fireworks and make special toasts.
Christmas has transcended the limits of religion with Father Christmas (also known as Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus) a character inspired by a Greek bishop, who was responsible for bringing gifts to children around the world for December 25th. In Nicaragua, it is customary to give gifts, mainly to children. Whatever the particular custom of celebrating Christmas, the most important thing is that families and friends come together and that this time is a reason to share, forgive and strengthen family ties and values at home.
Del Sur News, your Bilingual Weekly Newspaper, takes the opportunity to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year 2018. May love, unity, health and prosperity abound in this coming year. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
María Silva, Gerente Propietaria – Del Sur News