The Christmas Traditions of Chile
Latin American flavor pervades the Christmas traditions of
Chile which period arrives in summer with the children freed
from their studies, and thus have enough time to enjoy the
warm season and the company of the family. The Chilean homes
have been lived upon by several generations, and when Christmastime
comes, the grandchildren and great grandchildren come for
family reunions with their relatives. Memories abound the
house with the joys of Xmas and stories handed down from parent
to children. The decorations carry with them remembrance of
joyful Christmas experiences. Thus, the Christmas traditions
of Chile fill the very air with religious thanksgiving and
The decorations of the Christmas traditions of Chile include
nativity scenes, Xmas trees and figures representing the Holy
Family and other religious characters. The midnight mass on
Xmas Eve is where most of the people and families go. Afterwards,
the families celebrate Holiday Dinner together. The food can
come of different meats, rice, Xmas pudding and others, including
the special dessert fruit cake called Pan de Pascua. The favorite
drinks are rompon and cola de mono or monkey’s tail.
The gifts are unwrapped afterwards. The adults stay up till
the wee hours of the morning.
Another important character of the Christmas traditions of Chile is Viejito Pascuero or Old Man Christmas who is a smaller sized Santa Claus, supposedly because the chimneys in Chile are smaller. This gift-giver also rides a reindeer driven sleigh.
The Christmas traditions of Chile are always a religious
affair and Jesus Christ is always at the center of the celebrations.
The church services are part of the daily activities during
the season, especially the nine-day novena prior to the
Holiday. Carols are sung while bible passages related to
the nativity are also read throughout the period. Christmas
Day is also a day to enjoy nature and sports. The people
come to the beaches, go on rock-climbing or surfing, and
most people simply enjoy the sight of these holiday spots.