Christmas Around The World – Chile
In our previous post we looked at how our Commonwealth friends in Canada celebrate Christmas. In today’s post we find ourselves looking at how Chileans celebrate Christmas.
Chile runs along the western coast of South America with more than 6,000km of coastline, one of the longest in the world.
It is home to the Atacama Desert (commonly known as the driest place on earth) as well as the world’s largest swimming pool at San Alfonso del Mar. Chile is also known for the Andes, great wine, Easter Island and penguins.
Christmas Day is celebrated on the 25th December, however the most important day of the Christmas season in Chile is Christmas Eve.
Following the Spanish colonisation of Latin America, the main religion of Chile is Catholicism. It’s reported that recent polls show 45-55% of the Chilean population identify as being Catholic.
Common decorations include Christmas trees and lights, especially in more recent years as lights have become more affordable. In some areas, neighbours have contests to see who has the best light display.
Like in many Catholic countries, the Nativity scene plays an important part in Christmas in Chile. They use pesebre (little clay figures) to depict the scene.
In the nine days leading up to Christmas, Catholics go to Novena, a special church service to celebrate Advent.
Christmas Eve is the important day for Catholocs in Chile, and to end the day, everybody opens their presents at midnight. Children even show off their new toys and presents in the middle of the night to their friends.
Christmas Day is very relaxed where people spend time with their friends and family. As Christmas Day is in the middle of summer in Chile, some people spend the day at the beach.
Father Christmas or Santa is known as Viejito Pascuero (Old Man Christmas) in Chile.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
As Christmas Eve is the important day in the Catholic Christmas season, this is when people gather together for the main Christmas meal. It’s eaten late late in the evening at around 9-10pm, more than likely another Spanish influence.
Barbeques, known as Asado, are quite popular along with turkey, chicken and pork.
A Christmas fruit cake that is flavoured with rum known as Pan de Pascua is also eaten (similar to Panetonne).
A popular Christmas drink in Chile is Cola de Mono (Monkeys Tail) – closely resembling a White Russian, this is a mix of coffee, milk, liquor, sugar and cinnamon.
Our next Christmas around the world destination is China, where we will see how the Chinese celebrate Christmas.