The Christmas celebration of Puerto Rico
Music in the air is the ultimate signification that the Xmas
season has come to Puerto Rico. The trullas, or small bands
of carolers in handmade colorful costumes, seem to have invaded
the streets and they arrive at the doorstep of their friends
unannounced - of course, uninvited during the late hours of
the night singing carols and playing different string and
They will not stop until the host invites them in for food and drinks. The Christmas traditions of Puerto Rico is a six-week season full of music and carols.
The Christmas traditions of Puerto Rico carols are either
religious villancico or secular aguinaldo. Villancico ballads
are centered on the Nativity while aguinaldos are merry and
sometimes humorous. Aguinaldos accompany season greetings
and feastings. Like the trend in the rest of the world, newer
aguinaldos sometimes do not have Xmas theme and include the
Spanish translations of favorite western carols.
The early morning Mass of Carols occurs for nine days before
Xmas culminating in the midnight mass. The celebrations of
Xmas Day continue on to the Innocents’ Day on December
28 commemorating the murder of children by Herod with a day
of trickery. The Christmas traditions of Puerto Rico culminate
with the feast of Three Kings or Epiphany on January 6th.
The children leave water, grass, and grain under their beds
on the evening of January 5 to feed the camels of the wise
men, who come during the night and brought the Holy Family
gifts. Some extend the celebrations for eight days after Epiphany.
The feast on the midnight of Christmas Eve serves the favorite
dishes of the Christmas traditions of Puerto Rico, including
roast pig, cooked rice and peas, and pasteles. The favorite
drink is coquito made of coconut milk and white rum while
the favorite desserts are coconut pudding and rice and raisins
cooked in coconut milk. The decorations of Xmas include
the manger, figures or saints and the Holy Family as well
as the three kings.