Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Celebrating "Noche Buena" (Christmas Eve) in Puerto Rico

Although we're living in the US little one has been fortunate enough to celebrate a Noche Buena in Puerto Rico. Noche Buena is celebrated on Christmas Eve (December 24th) with a huge family gathering, food,  music, singing aguinaldos Navideños (similar to Christmas carols), and at midnight everyone goes to the Misa de Gallo (Rooster's Mass: a solemn and festive Mass). The celebration would go until late hours of the night! 

We also have a gift exchange with all of the extended family members (though little ones will have to wait until morning to see what Santa brought for them, yeah Puerto Rico has been commercialized with Santa Claus, as well!). 

My fondest memories growing up were always on Noche Buena because it was a time to rejoice and celebrate around the Nativity scene for baby Jesus to be born, and to celebrate with the family, and a grand feast with Puerto Rican delicacies such as:  
Arroz con gandules (Rice with pigeon peas), Guineitos en Escabeche (Sautéed Green bananas)
Flan (Puerto Rican Custard), and of course, pasteles (ground green bananas with a filling of meat), arroz con dulce (sweetened coconut rice), tembleque (coconut based dessert), and the famous coquito (similar to egg nog but it's made out of coconut milk, and it has alcohol).  Yes, Puerto Ricans love to eat, and they love their coquito. Luckily coquito can be made without alcohol. 




Little one's first Noche Buena in Puerto Rico! You can see my Mom's Christmas tree, and the Nativity scene below. Singing aguinaldos! My brother-in-law is the one with the Santa hat, and he can sing! 

Little one was barely 1 1/2 yrs. old so I'm hoping that looking at pictures, and this post will help jog the memories that we've created for him. So one day, he can understand that this is part of his heritage and culture. Though we may not celebrate it here at home (US), we will cherish the memories, and look forward to future celebrations of Noche Buena in our beautiful island of Puerto Rico. ¡Feliz Navidad! 

What special traditions do you celebrate? Would love to hear from you! Please comment, share or like! 

11 comments :

  1. I love your photos - pig roasts are also big here which was something new to me. The smell and the taste are amazing but I'm still getting used to seeing the whole pig on the spit.

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    1. I totally agree the smell and taste are amazing indeed! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. Wow and wow......Sis this is a beautiful way to teach my Prince(Leonides).......This way he could remember us his family and our culture. ♡Love you Sis" and my nephew to.... and sis remember that we have the longest chrismas in the world it finish with the Fiestas de la calle de San Sebastian y las octavitas.......love you guys hugs n kises from Puerto Rico♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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    1. Awe thank you my little brother for commenting! Although far from Puerto Rico, I want your nephew to always remember and know what his culture and heritage are. :) True, Puerto Rico has the longest Christmas in the world! Wish we were there with you and the rest of the family!

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  3. Wow and wow......Sis this is a beautiful way to teach my Prince(Leonides).......This way he could remember us his family and our culture. ♡Love you Sis" and my nephew to.... and sis remember that we have the longest chrismas in the world it finish with the Fiestas de la calle de San Sebastian y las octavitas.......love you guys hugs n kises from Puerto Rico♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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  4. What a beautiful celebration! It seems somewhat similar to Costa Rica, I know they all get together for a big carne asada on Noche Buena. So special your little guy got to celebrate it with everyone in Puerto Rico! Hopefully you will all get to go again soon, although I know how expensive it is to travel around Christmas! We would LOVE to go to Costa Rica for Christmas one year but keep putting it off because of the cost.

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    1. Thank you Leanna! I too wish, I can go to Puerto Rico every year on Christmas! It's very costly, especially during that time of the year. He's 4 1/2 now, and we haven't been able to go back during that season. Who knows, maybe one day! :)

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  5. Wow! My dad is puerto rican and he always bought a part of the pig and called it lechon but you have the real deal. Awesome

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    1. Yup, that's what we call it too! Pernil o lechón same thing. ;)

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  6. Tarde pero seguro!!!!wow there's so many thing to see and read in your blog, that it's amazing!!love it!!!

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    1. Jajajaja claro que si! Preparate una tazita de café y sientate a leer tranquila! Abrazos!

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