By this time in the semester I am homesick. I have not been home since I arrived at Penn State in August. The next time I will be home is for Christmas. So, for this passion blog, I decided to write about my favorite time of the year: Christmas.
I think Christmas has a magical effect that makes everyone happier in that time. Christmas is known for being a holiday where family is important and hope is restored. For me, it is a time of pure bliss and extreme fun.
Puerto Rico has the longest holiday season in the world (I’m probably exaggerating a little). The holidays start Thanksgiving week and end in mid-January. This time is full of festivities, food, music, and joy. We celebrate Christmas the American way and the Latin American way at the same time. Everywhere you go there is Christmas music in English and in Spanish. Every household puts up a Christmas tree, but does not forget to put their Nativity figures.
I already talked about food in another passion blog, but the holidays have their own food! There is rice with “gandules” (a type of bean), “lechón” (roasted pork), “pasteles” (mass made up of vegetables with meat inside), and many fried finger food. There is also a drink called “Coquito” that is made with milk and coconut flavored rum.
There are Christmas parties everywhere, every single day. There is one type of party that is a tradition called “parrandas.” “Parrandas” are similar to Christmas caroling, but consist of jumping from house to house and at every house there is a party.
After Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, there is New Years and Three Kings Day. Since the majority of Puerto Ricans are Catholic, Three Kings Day is celebrated fully. Just like with Santa Claus, children leave boxes with grass under their beds for the “camels of the Three Kings” to “eat.” After all these celebrations, the holidays end with “Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian” (refer to my previous passion blog).