If your family still packs fake presents and walks around the block with suitcases on New Year’s Eve to travel more during the year, then you are undeniably Latino. People can say whatever they want about our holiday traditions, but the truth is that no one knows how to have more fun than we do. Yes, some of them might be cheesy or intense, but they all involve family, friends, good food, music and tons of good wishes.
So, to celebrate how we are the true kings of the holiday season, these are the 7 most unique Latino holiday celebrations:
1. Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon
Christmas is not just one day, for us Latinos it’s almost a month. It’s so intense we call it the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon. Kicking off on December 12th with the celebration of the Virgen de Guadalupe and ending with some extra pounds on January 6th with Día de Reyes, this Marathon is only for the brave ones who are up for 25 days of straight partying. So get your antiacid ready and be prepared to drink loads of coffee during the day to stay awake, the maratón is almost here and it needs you at your best.
No, it’s not A Posada, it’s THE Posadas. If you are only attending one a year, you are doing it wrong. Officially it’s nine of them and you should attend at least 5 so you can have your dose of esquites, ponche and tamales to last through the year. Get ready to sing and break piñatas and don’t forget to wear those baggy pants so you can eat all you want.
3. Christmas Eve
Your non-Latino friends still don’t get why you don’t celebrate on Christmas Day but instead your big get together happens the night before on Christmas Eve. We believe in more hours of party. So we dine on Christmas Eve, we go until the morning, we open the presents Santa or the Niño Jesús brought and then we have recalentado to survive the massive party from last night. Yes, instead of using the holiday to celebrate, we use it to recover from the party. Pretty smart right?
4. Fake Presents
This is probably the one tradition you hated most when you were a kid. Back when you thought that a big box meant a better present only to realize that your tías thought it was super funny to pack a dustpan in a refrigerator box. Still, fake presents make the ceremony of unwrapping gifts so much fun. In case you are a bit disappointed with your real presents, you can always remember the good laughs you had seeing the face of your primos when they received their fake gifts.
You can not call yourself a Latino if you’ve never had a recalentado. Recalentado is the most genius invention in the history of celebrations. It’s about eating leftovers when you have a hangover and make no mistake, most of the holiday food tastes so much better the next day. The flavors are more intense and it’s when the whole celebration comes to full circle. All that food that was made for the family is finally meant to be finished in a massive and beautiful feast.
6. NYE Crazy Superstitions
Yes, you abuela still walks around the block with her suitcases in hopes of travelling the world, your tías sweep the porch to scare the bad vibes, you still choke on those 12 grapes that you need to finish in 12 seconds and we know that you are wearing red underwear to finally find love. All these superstitions might sound crazy to many but we know that they are for real and that we better honor them because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
7. Los Reyes Magos and that DELICIOUS rosca
To close the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon and to cope with the depression that the holidays are over, we Latinos have the Reyes Magos (3 Wise Men for those who are not familiar). They also bring presents at night but the real hit is that delicious rosca that we eat in their honor. Remember to watch out for the little mono because you don’t want to buy tamales for the entire family in February.