Celebrating Christmas/New Year's in Latin America
Along with many other cultural traditions, Spain bequeathed Christmas and New Year’s to its American colonies, now the 17 Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America – and while quite a few customs have survived intact or close to it, many others have become modified over the years, and new ones have arisen according to local circumstances. In Colombia, for example, the season is inaugurated in many of the country’s cities by the Noche de las Velitas (Night of the Little Candles, top) on December 7, on which families gather in front of their residences to light many lanterns and candles to light the way of the Virgin Mary to enter their homes to bless them. Some are on the ground, others on other surfaces or hanging, leading to a spectacular setting of warm, glowing lights and colours, culminating in a display of fireworks. This is especially notable in the city of Medellín, because not only is its very river also set aglow with floating candles, but there are impressive... keep reading
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