The Holidays brings great memories and anecdotes to my heart.
The decoration, food, Pesebles Nativity scenes, Villancicos and Fundas de Caramelo Candy bags are just few things I personally miss a lot and would love my daughter to live it one day.
In Quito-Ecuador, December is a month of pure celebrations. It start the first week with the Independencia de Quito December 6th 1534 where the whole city is already in the festivity mood.
After this celebration, Quito start preparing and decorating the city for La Noche Buena y La Navidad. Everyone get the famous Christmas tree and decorate it with ribbons, color lights, pictures, traditional and folkloric ornaments.
The most elaborated and favorite things to decorate and that every member of the family get involve is El Pesebre, The Nativity.
Every year this was my favorite! Every Catholic Christian family have El Nino Jesus, Baby Jesus ceramic figurine with beautiful clothes that are pretty much hand made with gorgeous details, gems stones and decorations.
The Christmas festivities start with La Novena December 15 to December 24. The Novena is a public gatherings of prayer, hymns, religious poetry accompanied by incense and hot chocolate and cookies. They can be done at the local church, but pretty much every neighborhood has selected homes where they host La Novena.
At my Catholic School, we used to do La Novena every morning before classes. It was a great way to start the day, with music, meditation, prayers and little shows.
On December 24th the whole country start celebrating with the traveling Infant Child, the Pase del Nino Viajero. It’s an all day affair, with a parade that illustrates the journey of Joseph and Mary. Led by the guiding star, and accompanied by angels, the Three Kings, officials, shepherds and huge numbers of costumed children. After a whole day of celebrating families get together to celebrate the last day of the Novena at home and prepare an elaborate dinner that is it eaten before midnight. Yeah..at midnight!
What we usually have for dinner is a Big turkey, stuff with raisins, walnuts, almonds, grapes, pineapple, apples, grounded beef, spices and more. Green Salads, Potatoes Salads, Corn,beets,onions and green beans Salad with a mayonesse dressing. Cream Soups, my favorite was tomato! For dessert we would have pristinos, carrot cake, humitas, quimbolitos, morocho rice milk, higos figs with cheese and Jello.
At midnight La Misa del Gallo attracts huge numbers. This mass is a lenghty affair. and when everyone come back home it is Navidad!, Once the children are asleep, parents leave their presents at the foot of their beds.
In Navidad mostly everyone is in family and celebrating with music, food and games. In my family we usually used to play cards. One of my Grandfather’s favorite.
This memories are so precious and unforgettable to me. This is the main reason I created Latin and Spanish Mom
So, Now I hope with the years I can keep this traditions and memories alive with the help of my comunity, friends and family.
Hope you had a wonderful holiday and please let us know how you celebrated your holidays!
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