Caracas venezuela church christmas

Temperatures in December are between 68 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. So Santa often pulls up on the beach on his surfboard. Carolers also gather in masse in major cities to sing by candlelight, and people decorate their homes with "Christmas Bush," a native plant. It's summer down under on Christmas Day. Young men walk around dressed up as the Krampus, a devil-demon creature equipped with cowbells and rods, scaring adults and children.

The country is also known for its famed Christmas markets. On Dec. If it blooms before Christmas Eve it means she will marry in the next year. Another marriage-related superstition in the Czech Republic is that if a woman throws a show over her shoulder on Christmas day and it points to the door, she will soon be wed. Families in Denmark leave Nissea devilish elf, a bowl of rice pudding or porridge so he is nice to them.

In Finland, tradition calls for families to stop by the cemetery and commemorate the dead. It's also typical for families to lunch on porridge with an almond hidden inside — and the one who finds the almond sings a song.

Before going to bed, children in France put their shoes by the fireplace. They hope that Pere Noel, France's Santaputs gifts in their shoes. Children in Great Britain write their wish lists to Father Christmas and then instead of mailing the letters though some dothey throw them in the back of the fire place, hoping the draft carries them up and to the North Pole.

If the child's letter catches fire before it flies up the chimney, the child must write a new letter. Once depicted as mischievous, they have taken on a more benevolent role in recent years, and children leave their shoes by their windowsills, hoping the Lads will leave them small gifts. That's what children do in Iceland, where the "13 Yule Lads" are said to come to town two weeks before Christmas, and leave after the holiday.

India's population is mainly Hindu and Muslim, but those who do celebrate Christmas tend to decorate mango or banana trees. The company reportedly has its highest annual sales in Japan on Christmas Eve, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

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Christmas may not be a national holiday in Japan, but that doesn't stop people from heading to American fast food chain KFC in droves to eat buckets of "Christmas Chicken. Christmas starts in Oaxaca with a parade of people walking down lantern-lit streets, and knocking on every door to re-enact Mary and Joseph's search for shelter.

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It is believed in Norway that on Christmas Eve, witches roam the skies along with other mischievous spirits. Since a witch's prime mode of transportation is a broom, families hide all of their cleaning supplies attached to sticks, to stop the witches from stealing them. The log is typically propped up on sticks, and children are encouraged to feed it and cover it with blankets on the nights leading up to Christmas.

On Christmas day, the log is placed in the fireplace and beaten with sticks so that it literally "poops" small presents. When the family woke up Christmas morning, a spider had spun a web around the tree, decorating it for the family.

When the youngest child opened the window on Christmas day and light hit the web, the web turned to silver and gold. Stemming from that legend, now people in the Ukraine hide spider webs in their trees and whoever finds it Christmas day will have good luck that year.

In the Ukraine, there's a legend that a poor widow found a Christmas tree growing in her yard during the summer months. Her children were thrilled to finally have a tree, but she didn't have money to decorate it.In Venezuela, the Christmas season is one of the most important times of the year. While it is always a special time in South Americathe holiday is especially important in Venezuela. Christmas is nearly a month-long event with many people starting the celebrations on December 4.

And on December 16th families bring out their pesebre, an elaborate depiction of the nativity scene. However, the Christmas celebrations reach their peak around December 21 and continue until Christmas Day on December There are nine carol services for Christmas and Venezuelans attend at least one of these masses to worship at dawn.

From the large city of Caracas to the smaller rural areas, people rise in the early mornings and travel by foot as most roads are closed off. No alarm clocks are needed as the sound bells and firecrackers fill the early morning air to let everyone know it's time for church. The final service is on Christmas Eve or Nochebuena de Navidad, a very important mass.

Afterwards, families return home to eat a large meal and exchange presents.

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Presents are usually opened on Christmas Eve and for some families, Christmas Eve is even more important than Christmas Day. It was given this odd name because of its 5 a. Then many take to the streets for Christmas celebrations and to visit family and friends. Food always plays an important role in South American holidays and Venezuelan food plays an important role in the Christmas tradition. A balance of sweet and savory, hallacas are traditional Venezuelan meat pies with a cornmeal crust that are wrapped in banana leaves and boiled for a couple of hours.

Fillings include meat with raisins, olives, green and red peppers, capers, and pickled vegetables. They are only eaten at Christmas because they take a long time to make and often require the entire family pitching in on the cooking.

caracas venezuela church christmas

Many will boast that their mother or grandmother makes the best hallaca in the neighborhood or even the country. Other typical Christmas dishes include pan de jamona loaf of bread filled with cooked ham and raisins, dulce de lechozaa cold dessert made from green papaya and brown sugar, and ponche cremaan eggnog drink that can be homemade or bought in supermarkets.

Traditional Venezuelan decorations are found in all homes with the most important being the nativity scene which depicts the Baby Jesus in the manger. Some families are much more elaborate in their decorations and create an entire diorama featuring the region.

Pieces are often passed down from generation to generation and are considered a very special part of Christmas.The religious celebrations of Christmas commence every year on December From this day, mass services are held every morning until December 24th. On each morning from December 16 - December 24, firecrackers explode and bells ring to call worshippers from bed in the predawn hours.

While pious people may attend all the services, most Venezuelans make it a point to observe at least one of the nine carol services. In Caracasthe capital and largest city of Venezuela, there is a unique custom to roller-skate to local churches to attend this service. Because of this, many neighborhoods close the streets to cars until 8 a. Kids go to sleep ahead of time at night during the nine-day period. To wake themselves up early in the morning, they tie one end of a long piece of string to their big toe and let the other end hang out of the window.

The next morning, rollerskaters give a tug to any string they see hanging out of a window. After Mass everyone enjoys tostados and coffee. The last of the masses takes place on the night of this day and known as " Misa de Gallo ". Families get together on this day, attend the mass service at night and then return home to enjoy a huge and fancy dinner.

The traditional Christmas meal consists of delicious dishes like "Hallaca" made of flour, beef, or chicken and "Tamale" corn and cornmeal dough stuffed with a meat mixture, wrapped in corn husks and steamed eaten with "pan de jamon" a long bread filled with cooked ham and raisins and "dulce de lechoza" a dessert made of green papaya and brown sugar, slowly cooked for hours and served cold. Another dish is turkey with some kind of salad with cold vegetables, chicken, green herbs or fruits.

During Christmas, the interiors as well exteriors of individual homes are decorated with strands of electric lights. Christmas trees are also put up in many homes. Most homes display an elaborate "Nacimiento" Nativity Scene which represents an entire region with mountains, hills, plains and valleys.

The focus of the "Nacimiento" is the "Pesebre", or manger, which is like a small farm with some animals like cows and sheep. At the midnight hour, as loud fircrackers herald the coming of Christmas Daythe infant Jesus is put in the Pecebre. In some families singing and praying is done for the baby. After that, adults drink wine and gifts are opened. In Venezuela, young children recieve presents during two occassions. Here the Baby Jesus is traditionally held to bring gifts to the Venezuelan children instead of Santa Claus.

On Christmas Eve, he is believed to leave presents for kids under their "Nacimiento" Christmas tree. On December 25children awake to look for their gifts around the "Nacimiento". On January 5thchildren leave strands of straw beside their bed at night.

caracas venezuela church christmas

January 6 is the Day of the Reyes Magosthought to be the day on which the three wise kings came to visit Mary and the infant Jesus. It is believed that the Three Wise Men still looks for the Baby Jesus on every January 5th night and leave gifts in those places that resemble a stable.

On the following morning, children wake up to find toys and candies in place of the straw. They rush to have a look at mirror to check if they have a black smudge on their cheek. On finding the mark, they know that Balthazar King of the Ethiopians had kissed them whilst they were sleeping.

In Venezuela, Christmas is celebrated on December 24th. The celebration of the festival here is a harmonious balance of solemnity and gaiety.

Venezuela being a predominantly Catholic country, Christmas festivities in the country focus on the birth of Baby Jesus. Christmas is celebrated here with a number of religious and traditional customs.I have seen people go to mass, and I have seen people go to mass on Christmas Eve. However, I have never seen people go to mass on Christmas Eve on roller skates! Yes, you read that right! Rather, they strap on their roller skates and off they go!

Some of the areas of the city are even blocked off to cars so that the skaters can fill and glide safely through the streets. If you find going to church on roller skates fascinating, just wait! There are other interesting Christmas traditions in Venezuela.

Those skating below give the strings a tug as they pass by to wake the children up. After mass, the roller skaters return home to a traditional Christmas meal called Noche Buena. Do you know what they eat?! They eat special Christmas tamalesbut these are no ordinary tamales.

Rather, on Christmas Eve they eat hallacas. Inside, the dish features meat, olives, raisins, peppers, capers and pickled vegetables for a mix of flavors. Instead of steaming, like the traditional Mexican tamalehallacas go into hot water to boil.

The dish is a staple at Christmastime. Go rent some roller skates, glide on over to the church service, and then eat some hallacas for dinner! What about you? What are some interesting Christmas traditions in your family or culture, or in other countries you have visited?

We invite you to tell us your own cultural stories and global adventures. Write about them in the comment box below.

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NEW—"Cultural Threads" Shop—Handmade, fair-trade items made by artisans around the world who have been rescued from human trafficking! Your purchase can make a difference in their lives! December 13, Author: The Cultural Story-Weaver. Tags: Catholic churchcatholic massChristmas Eve masschristmas traditionsroller skatingtamalesVenezuelaVenezuela Christmas. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Privacy Policy. Kale by LyraThemes.Venezuelans attend a daily early morning church service between December 16th and 24th called Misa de Aguinaldo "Early Morning Mass. Before bedtime children tie one end of a piece of string to their big toe and hang the other out the window.

Christmas around the world: Why Venezuelans roller skate to mass on Christmas Eve

The next morning, rollerskaters give a tug to any string they see hanging. After Mass everyone enjoys tostados and coffee.

Christmas in Venezuela is one of the most colourful in Latin America and the whole world!

caracas venezuela church christmas

Firework shows are very popular. Some traditional Christmas music in Venezuela is 'Gaita' music. This is a type of folk music from the Zulia state. It's played on several instruments including the 'Cuatro' a guitar with four strings a 'Tambora' a Venezuelan drumthe 'Furro' a type of drum but it has a stick coming up through the middle of the skin of the drum - this can make it have some different sounds and the 'Charrasca' a ribbed tube that you rub a stick up and down.

The singers are known as 'Gaiteros'. Another type of music in Venezuela is called 'Aguinaldos y Parrandas'. This style is also popular at Christmas as the songs are like carols. Some homes will have a Christmas Tree, but they're normally artificial ones as pine and fir trees aren't common in Venezuela.

Nativity Scenes Nacimiento are very popular and in some regions they are more common than Christmas Trees. Going to Midnight Mass Misas de Aguinaldo is very popular and there many other masses and church services in the days before Christmas. In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, there's a tradition of people rollerskating to the early morning church services from 16th to 24th December. The roads are often closed to traffic by 8.

Chicken Salad and Pernil a leg of pork. Some people also celebrate Santa Barbara's day on December 4th. The real Christmas celebrations start on December 21st. Main presents are given at midnight on Christmas Eve. It was also a tradition for people to paint their houses two to four weeks before Christmas, so it was all nice and smart and ready to be decorated for Christmas. Many people have new clothes for Christmas and New Year's Eve.

More and more are in need of Christmas charity in Venezuela

Many people believe that if you wear yellow on New Year's Eve you will have good luck next year. Christmas In Venezuela.Although Christmas is going to be a little bit different this year for a lot of people, our international neighbours will be keeping some incredible traditions alive and well as always.

From curious choices of Christmas meals to broom-stealing evil spirits, here are some of the best festive traditions from around the world. But that hasn't stopped families from trooping into local KFCs for a festive meal on Christmas Eve every year. So on the eve of the holiday, Norwegians ensure their brooms are locked away before going to bed. In doing so, when the witches arrive looking for brooms as a means of transportation, they won't find any.

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Every year, the crunchy critters are collected around Christmas time and enjoyed as a protein-rich snack throughout winter. In Italy, legend has it that there is a festive witch called 'La Befana' who comes around to give gifts to children who have been good all year round.

She rides on a broom and makes her way down the chimney to deliver her presents in socks left out by children.

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For locals in Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, attending Christmas service on rollerskates is customary. It has become so popular that on Christmas Day, the government closes most major roads to afford residents the opportunity to skate to church safely. They are often tied up at homes with owners taking such good care of them that you might think they are being kept as pets.

On Christmas Eve they are untied and walked only to be slaughtered for meals such as fufu and soup. The idea behind feeding and caring for them is so they could be as healthy and fat for the whole family's consumption.

In some places in Germany and Austria, men even dress up as Krampus roaming about the street sending kids into a meltdown. In Guatemala, people believe evil spirits reside in corners of the house that are dirty and disorganised. Once everything is cleaned, locals come together to gather all the dirt in a huge pile and place an effigy of the devil on top.

In the early hours of Christmas morning, the Portuguese gather around the dinner table to have a notable feast. At the table, they leave empty seats out for alminhas penar the souls of the deadwhile some people also leave crumbs on the hearth for the souls. The Kallikantzaroi are a race of goblins believed to live in the underworld but appear during the 12 days of Christmas to cause mischief. They spend the rest of their days at the centre of the world constantly trying to chop down the Tree of Life.

Farmers who work hard and are able to produce good results receive gifts and other pleasant items. Sign in. Home News Entertainment Lifestyle Sport. All Football. Kevin Adjei-Darko. Most read in News.

Venezuela—An Invitation to ‘The 12 Countries of Christmas’

Comments are subject to our community guidelines, which can be viewed here.But the economic crisis that has battered the once wealthy oil nation has many families struggling just to put something on their own tables during the holidays — even when they have jobs. She sends her children to a local food pantry for lunch. She volunteers there during her free time and helps make meals for children.

According to the World Food Program, one of every three Venezuelans is struggling to consume enough daily calories. Lopez said she received a Christmas bonus of just under 3.

The crisis has hit children, women and the elderly particularly hard and charitable groups are working hard to keep the Christmas spirit alive. Angeles Lopez said her church in a middle class neighborhood of the capital is providing free meals every weekend to the poor.

On Saturday, church members gave out donated toys -- some of them used — to children who regularly eat at its soup kitchen. The corn pie contains minced beef, pork, olives, raisins and a few slices of onion and red peppers. Some of these ingredients are imported and are now sold mostly for U. Even domestic onions cost around 2. Montilla said she has to scrimp herself despite having her own pension from her career as a nurse and the pension of her late husband.

Last year protests broke out in some neighborhoods over problems in obtaining pork legs that the government had promised at low prices as well as the distribution by state social programs of less appealing cuts of pork. Amid this somber panorama, some men walk around Caracas dressed as Santa Claus in an effort to make children smile. Shows Good Morning America.

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