Culture

Latinos Are Some Of The Most Festive People And These Traditions Prove It

We all experienced that moment when you realized you celebrated holidays a little different in your Latino household. Maybe it was when you realized that they didn’t celebrate Three Kings Day with shoes and boxes filled with hay. Or maybe your realization came when your friends and their families didn’t eat grapes for good luck at their New Years Ever party.

Seeing all of the traditions written down just makes them all the more heartwarming. Read on if you’re already getting warm, fuzzy feelings.

Día de las Velitas honors the beginning of the holiday season.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Huffington Post. 25 September 2018.

In Colombia, the day is celebrated on December 7, but as we already know, Costco begins celebrating on August 20th. You can buy your Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations all at the same time there.

We literally only cook out of toddler size pots during the holidays.

CREDIT: @AnahyCiriza / Twitter

If your tía can’t post a joke picture of one of your primitos in the pot, then it’s not big enough. We eat a lot so there always has to be too much food.

Dancing tías flock to la tamalada at your house for three straight days.

CREDIT: @AliciaWLTX / Twitter

If you’ve never seen a group of mamis y tías making tamales for the holidays, you have not experienced efficiency. It is an assembly line process that will surprise anyone.

We can’t wait for Christmas so we celebrate Buena Noche.

CREDIT: @harmonylael / Twitter

The big family dinner is on Christmas Eve and everyone stays up late drinking coquito, eating waves of flan y natilla, and waiting for the clock to strike midnight. Then all the kids start opening their presents because it’s *technically* Christmas.

The Oaxaca Radish Festival in Mexico is incredible.

CREDIT: @CNNTravel / Twitter

Known as “Noche de Rabanos,” the main square of Oaxaca is flooded with artisan created radish carvings on December 23. They’re often molded into nativity scenes, and there’s always food and dancing.

Boricuas will parranda your casa up.

CREDIT: @CortesBob / Twitter

We thrive on barging into people’s homes and making a party. The parranda is a Puerto Rican tradition that literally entitles you to takeover your friends’ homes with live music. You’ll never know when it’s going to happen so just always be ready with food for an extra 20 Puerto Ricans and you’ll have a good time.

If you’re religious, you participate in La Novena.

CREDIT: @PromiseArizona / Twitter

Every night in the nine days before Christmas, you sing prayers around your local nativity scene. In this picture, Arizona Latinos sang their 2017 novena for the “families unjustly detained.” ✊????

After la novena, you might remember singing villancicos.

CREDIT: @SenoritaRacicot / Twitter

They’re basically just Spanish Christmas carols. They go back hundreds of years and are actually poems. Popular songs include “Noche de paz,” “Los peces en el río,” “Campana sobre campana” and “Mi Burrito Saberno.”

In Venezuela, they roll through patinatas.

CREDIT: @ladytrample / Twitter

In the week leading up to Christmas Eve, people will just take to closed-off roads or plazas to roller skate in what they call a “patinata.”

Of course, there are always the posadas.

CREDIT: kat_egli / Flickr

Unlike the standard family masses that include a group of kids acting out the nativity story, posadas take to different neighborhood each night. The children knock on a door and sing a song asking for space at their inn. The hosts will sing back to them and welcome them in for ponche, buñelos and tamales.

You’ll never forget the torture of La Misa del Gallo.

CREDIT: @Rafael_belgom / Twitter

Also known as “Rooster’s Mass,” because it happens at midnight on Christmas Eve. Traditionally, in Rome and Spain, Misa del Gallo is celebrated at the crack of dawn, but when it was assimilated into Mexico, rural families adjusted the tradition so they can go back to their farms and take care of the animals.

Latinos also have Día de los Reyes Magos to look forward to.

CREDIT: @slatinamerica / Twitter

If your parents were super traditional, they would only let you open one present on Buena Noche and wait until Three Kings Day for the rest.

In Puerto Rico, we put a shoebox of hay under the bed the night before Three Kings Day.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. El Boricua. 25 September 2018.

Instead of putting out cookies for Santa, we leave hay under the bed for the camels who are carrying the Three Kings to eat. The next morning, we wake up and there’s a present there instead.

Then there are the NYE traditions like Año Viejo.

CREDIT: @cristiancrespoj / Twitter

Some people ring in the new year by building a cardboard doll that represents the bad times of the last year. Then the doll is set on fire at midnight in hopes of burning away the past and bringing in a brighter new year.

Caption: “The old year of San Juan de Colón in # Tachira pays homage in its burning of this year to Neomar Lander, hero of the # Resistance of # Venezuela assassinated by the Maduro Narcotics. Like other more than 130 young people also killed in the fight for freedom! Maduro will fall !!!!”

The tastiest tradition is to eat twelve grapes after midnight.

CREDIT: @theleaguelady / Twitter

You make a wish for every month of the new year and then they all come true. The tradition originates in Spain, but has become popular all over Latin America.

Leave it to Latinos to make cleaning a ritual tradition.

CREDIT: @HomesiteServ / Twitter

We already do it every Saturday, but every New Years Eve, you spend the whole morning deep cleaning the house, because “a clean slate starts with a clean house.” Cubans will hold on to the bucket of dirty water until midnight and throw it over the balcony to cleanse bad energy from the last year.

Oh, and you have to wear yellow underwear on NYE.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Korijock. 25 September 2018.

Some people have a tradition to change your underwear at midnight for good luck. Others swear that yellow underwear specifically will bring good luck.

Spend the last day of the year hiding money around your house.

CREDIT: “money in couch” Digital Image. Low Income Financial Help. 25 September 2018.

Ecuadorians claim this tradition which is meant to bring wealth in prosperity in the new year. I mean, it literally works because then you find all the money the next day and feel richer.

Brazilians hurry to the beach to jump over 7 waves after midnight.

CREDIT: “Jumping the waves” Digital Image. BBC. 25 September 2018.

The tradition comes from Candomblé, an African religion that was secretly practiced by the slaves from Bahia. Brazilian NYE parties also include hoards of people wearing all white, to symbolize peace and rebirth.

Dominicans pack a suitcase to their NYE parties.

CREDIT: “Image Credits: www.telegraph.co.uk “ Digital Image. Dubeat. 25 September 2018.

The tradition is to pack a suitcase and walk around the block to ensure safe travel for the following year. My family is lazy. We just take an empty suitcase and walk in circles around the house.


READ: 25 Latino Superstitions That Are Proven Fact

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New York Times Square New Years Eve Celebration Canceled

Culture

New York Times Square New Years Eve Celebration Canceled

Stefano / Flickr

For the first time in 114 years, the Times Square New Years Eve party has been canceled. The famous New Year’s Eve gathering is a major part of the New Year’s Eve celebration with people cramming into Times Square to watch the ball drop to mark the new year. This year, everything about the celebration is changing because of Covid.

New Year’s Eve in Times Square has been canceled.

The in-person celebration with crowds packing into the intersection to watch the ball drop is going virtual. Like the Emmys earlier this month, and countless other events, the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is all virtual. The decision to cancel the in-person part of the Times Square Ball Drop is, well, Covid, of course.

“One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st,” Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement. “But this year there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences – still in development — will take place in Times Square. And because any opportunity to be live in Times Square will be pre-determined and extremely limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be the opportunity to participate virtually wherever you are.”

We still don’t have a lot of details about the virtual aspect of New Year’s Eve, we are all waiting.

According to a statement, the organizers realize that Covid has been the dominating force of 2020. The celebration always includes aspects of the major events from the previous year into the experience. The socially distanced handful of honorees and lack of an audience is a clear representation of the still real Covid crisis.

Some people are really upset about the decision to cancel the celebration.

It is one of those iconic moments so many people dream of doing. It is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for so many. The Times Square Ball Drop is something that most Americans recognize thanks to the dominant role the ball drop played on New Year’s Eve growing up. It is basically tradition to have the NYE party playing on the TV.

New Yorkers are confused about why anyone would want to do that.

New Yorkers avoid Times Square at all costs. It isn’t a convenient or super enjoyable part of town. It is packed with tourists who don’t know where they are going and NYE is about the worst it gets for Times Square. Now, the ball drop is impressive and something so many people consider an iconic moment in the holiday celebration.

“We will miss everyone this year but we will bring our celebration to you, whether you want to turn off and turn away from the bad news of 2020, or turn to the new year with a sense of hope, renewal and resolution, you’ll be able to join us virtually like never before as part of the Times Square 2021 celebration,” Jeff Straus, President of Countdown Entertainment, said in a statement.

But, mainly, people just want 2020 to be over.

This year has been a hard year for so many. People have lost their jobs and their loved ones as the virus runs through the U.S. Covid-19 is still a real threat to people, especially the vulnerable population.

READ: Nearly 9,000 Unaccompanied Child Migrants Have Been Expelled From the U.S. Under Trump’s COVID-19 Restrictions

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From Churros To Buñuelos And Atole— 12 Latino Comfort Desserts To Get You Through This Weird Quarantine Season

Culture

From Churros To Buñuelos And Atole— 12 Latino Comfort Desserts To Get You Through This Weird Quarantine Season

josie_delights / guatemala / Instagram

Updated on May 13, 2020, originally published on November 20, 2019.

Sure, it’s summertime but there’s nothing wrong with tapping into the holiday season for some good o’l comfort food. Especially these days. Latinos don’t settle for just one dessert option, we have plenty to choose from and you best believe a few tías will bring different ones. From pastel de tres leches to churros and all the drinks that go with them, there are some wonderful treats in store. Yes, more often than not, a good cafecito will pair up perfectly with your postre, but how about a Mexican ponche? Or a Guatemalan Atol? We rounded up our fave cold-weather desserts for the summer that every Latino should whip up for quarantine!

1. Alfajores

Credit: nosjuntapaula / Instagram

These soft, delicate and buttery cookies are held together by the addicting caramel sauce, an elixir of the gods; dulce de leche. This option goes perfectly with a good old cafecito and chisme. That sobremesa is sure to get lit with all that sugar pumping up the tías and abuelitas. 

2. Arroz con leche

Credit: aliceesmeralda / Instagram

A foolproof winter classic. Arroz con leche is the ultimate Latino comfort dessert any time of year tbh. Try it calientito with a good amount of cinnamon and raisins. Provecho!

3. Buñuelos —Colombianos and Mexicanos

Credit: nachoecia / Instagram

The Colombian iteration isn’t quite a sweet treat as it’s filled with cheese, but the addition of brown sugar, butter and tapioca make it a dessert in our book. As for the Mexican version, they’re usually made during the winter holidays. Mexican Buñuelos are made of fried dough, covered in cinnamon sugar and if you’re not about fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar, idk what to tell you, there’s something wrong going on.  

4. Chocoflan

Credit: dolchecakes / Instagram

Also known in Mexico as ‘Impossible Cake’, this delicious mass of goodness combines two great things into one god-sent hybrid. If you love flan, but would also like to have a slice of chocolate cake, Latina moms everywhere say; “¿Por qué no los dos?” The rich dense chocolate, topped with creamy vanilla flan, drizzled with a thick layer of cajeta is, quite literally, what dessert dreams are made of. 

5. Churros

Credit: blizzdesserts / Instagram

There’s something so satisfying when biting into a warm, doughy, crunchy and sugary churro. You can find these delicious treats all over Latin America, and they’re particularly yummy when paired with a cup of hot chocolate! Extra points if you stuff them with cajeta or chocolate. 

6. Flan

Credit: silvanacocinando / Instagram

Almost every Latin American household will have its own version of flan. From Puerto Rico to Costa Rica and everywhere in between, Latinos love flan. The creamy vanilla-flavored concoction is basically irresistible. 

7. Natilla Colombiana

Credit: josie_delights / Instagram

This Colombian custard dessert is very traditional during Christmas, but we like to think that it’s also good at any time of the year. Natilla is a rich, custard-like dessert traditionally served alongside the deep-fried cheese buñuelos we told you about earlier. You’ll definitely have to forget about la dieta if you want to have this option. 

8. Suspiro de Limeña

Credit: rodolfo1913 / Instagram

Its name literally translates to “Sigh of the lady from Lima.” This Peruvian dessert is definitely sigh-inducing. The creamy, caramel-like custard, topped with a Port flavored meringue is an extra sweet treat for this cold season. The dessert originated in the city of Lima, and it is said that it gained its name after a poet said it tasted soft and sweet, like the sigh of a woman.

9. Pastel de Tres leches 

Credit: tallerdenoemi / Instagrm

This quintessentially Latino cake is made with three types of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk. This is definitely not for the lactose intolerant. The cake soaks up all these liquids, making it a super decadent treat. If you’ve never had this traditional Latino dessert, prepared to be delighted, and have the coffee pot a-ready. 

10. Ponche Navideño

Credit: mexicoinmykitchen / Instagram

Traditional Mexican fruit punch is a hot, delicious concoction. Made with more than ten fruits including apple, tamarind, jamaica, tejocotes, raisins. This punch is spiced with cinnamon, clove, and piloncillo. It’s basically Christmas in a cup.

11. Camotes en dulce 

Credit: aprilxcruz / Instagram

Mexican candied sweet potatoes are a must. Día de los Muertos, on Nov. 1, marks the beginning of Camote season. ‘Camotes Enmielados’ is made of sweet potatoes, simmered in a cinnamon and piloncillo syrup. This dish makes for the perfect fall treat. 

12. Guatemalan Atol

Credit: guatemala / Instagram

Made of ground corn, the flavors of this drink range from cinnamon to black beans to chocolate to cajeta. Guatemalan Atol, or Atole in Mexico, is a drink made differently in many countries of Latin America, but there’s one thing that remains the same everywhere, and that is that it’s a fall-winter staple you can’t miss out on.

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