Christmas Around The World~~ Central America

“Central America

A manger scene is the primary decoration in most southern European, Central American, and South American nations. St. Francis of Assisi created the first living nativity in 1224 to help explain the birth of Jesus to his followers.”

In Guatemala, an elaborate procession is take out on all days of Christmas season with several religious statues and an image of a white bearded image representing God at the end of the parade. He might look similar to Santa Claus. Marimbas and Chirimias accompany the procession. On Christmas Eve, Christ child is added to the procession. Manger scenes known as Nacimientos are displayed in churches and public arenas. Midnight Mass known as Misa de Gallo or the Mass of the Rooster marks the end of the festival.

In Latin America, Christmas is known by several names such as Las Posadas, Navidad and Dia de los Tres Reyes. Homes and churches are decorated during holiday season with lights and bright colored flowers. There is abundance of food and music and people sing Christmas songs throughout the season. Some of the songs still retain the Latin influence of the Roman Catholicism. Christmas is a religious holiday that revolves around Nacimiento, the Christ Child. Latin American culture extends to Mexico and Venezuela.

In Nicaragua, Christmas officially starts on 6th of December but practically festivities start from 16th of December when the search of Mary and Joseph for a shelter is re-enacted. All homes have a manger scene and the home that provides lodging to the couple is the one to supply wine and food. From then on until Christmas Eve Mass, there are prayers at home each evening, followed by refreshments and singing of carols. Christmas dinner is arranged only for adults and Christmas cards that are exchanged are kept white and plain. There are feasts, fireworks and dances on Christmas Day and streets are decorated for Christmas and loudspeakers broadcast Christmas carols.



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