Published On: Sun, Dec 21st, 2008

How do Puerto Rican’s celebrate Christmas?


Well if you read my last post "Meet the Rican Chef" , you already know I am missing my family during this time of the year. Now I know that I keep making references to what my christmas would be like in Mama's house…but I found a great post that will help you understand the festive spirit of a traditional Puerto Rican Christmas celebration.

This was originally posted by our friends over at , one of the websites that served as an inspiration for this website when I was on the come up…so here is an introduction…you can visit the site for the rest…

Buen Provecho!

As I am,

The Urban Jibaro


A Puerto Rican Christmas

Navidad is the best of Puerto Rican culture. Nowhere else is Christmas celebrated like in Borinquen. Navidad is the time of tradition, aguinaldos, décimas, y de ser jíbaro Puertorriqueño.

Christmas celebrations in Puerto Rico begin very early in December and do not stop on December 25th. The celebrations can continue into the middle of January if you consider the ''octavas and octavitas''. The big Christmas celebrations are; December 24 – Nochebuena; December 25 – Navidad; December 31 – Despedida de Año; and the biggest and most important of all for the children, of course, el Día de Reyes on January 6th.

What makes our Christmas different? First, most "Ricans" pretend to be jíbaros (or claim to be from el campo) during the holidays. We have a "pava" (traditional straw-hat) in storage just for Christmas.

Puerto Ricans are known for their unforgettable "parrandas or trullas navideñas". A parranda is when a small group of friends gathers together to "asaltar" or surprise another friend. It's the Puerto Rican version of Christmas caroling. Most parranderos play some sort of instrument, either guitarras, tamboriles, güiro maracas, or palitos. And they all sing. A parranda tends to be more secular than religious however many of the traditional aguinaldos (Puerto Rican Christmas songs) retain the holiday spirit.

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How do Puerto Rican’s celebrate Christmas?