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Latinos Know How To Celebrate The Holidays, But Some Of The Traditions Might Be Too Weird For Gringos

Navidad for Latino families is a very different affair to Christmas in Anglo culture. For once, the religious aspect is much more prevalent, as Catholicism is the predominant belief and the birth of Jesus is possibly the most important date of the year (save, perhaps, the death of said religious figure in Semana Santa). Navidad among Latinos both in the United States and throughout Latin America is full of quirky family traditions that both make it more solemn and more fun. Some of these traditions are of course heritage from the Spanish colonial years,  but each country and even each family has put their own little twist. 

New Year’s Eve is also a very lively celebration that includes some strange and fun mumbo jumbo that is totally normal for many of us but might be a bit too peculiar for others. 

So here are some traditions that might get your gringo Xmas or New Year’s date running out the door!

Actually nothing says holiday season in a Latino family like the Guadalupe-Reyes marathon.

Credit: Screenshot. KeepCalmAndPosters.com

They say honesty is the best policy, right? Well, this isn’t an actual sporting event but the official start of the holiday season. The “marathon” is an eating and drinking fest that runs from the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe in December 12 until January 6, the day of the Reyes Magos or Three Wise Men. Get your stomach and your liver ready. En sus marcas, listos, fuera…  

When all the familias bring their Baby Jesus figurine and rock them all together as if they were real babies.

Credit: Digital Post

Let’s not forget the massive one that recently went viral in Mexico…

Also dressing Baby Jesus in all sorts of outlandish costumes.

Credit: @EldeForma / Giphy

Sorry (not sorry!) this can be a bit sacrilegious for some, but this gif was just too good not to share.  

Well, this is actually the sort of costume they put on Baby Jesus.

Credit: Mercado Libre

Abuelitas all over Mexico flood markets to find the best dress maker for their Baby Jesus. There is a non-spoken rivalry among households that abuelitas settle by making Baby Jesus look like a tiny Liberace (sorry, but it is true!). 

Sing the traditional Posada… or more like mumble the words hoping that the chismosos de la familia don’t figure it out.

Credit: Yucatan Holidays

The traditional posada is a song where the guests are split into two groups. One remains inside the house while the other braces the cold and stays outside. One group is supposed to represent Mary and Joseph asking to be let in, the other group takes the place of the homeowners who are not too sure to let strangers in. There is a back and forth and finally the strangers are let in and everyone sings “Entren santos peregrinos”. We are sure that half the party is mumbling the words. Hey, they even got some Latin! 

Now it is New Year’s Eve and you better wear your chones rojos.

Credit: Ali Express

Legend goes that if you want to enjoy a good sex life in the coming year, you need to wear red underwear to welcome the coming calendar. Supermarkets and department stores in Latin America are bursting with red men’s underpants and women’s lingerie. Rest assured if you bring a gringo date to the New Year’s fiesta, your primos will make sure they feel uncomfortable as hell my asking them whether they are wearing chones rojos or not! Awkward alert!

And you better be ready to haul those empty suitcases around the block at the strike of midnight!

We kid you not. Wanna have plenty of travelling in the coming year? Well, get your empty suitcases ready and take a walk around the block with them. If you think about a destination then your trip might come true. Wanna have a sexy escapade? Wear your red underwear while dragging the luggage! Makes all the sense in the world, right? Just be careful not to wake up the neighbours… come to think about it chances are they are dragging their empty maletas as well. 

Swipe away the bad vibes! Afuera lo malo, que venga lo bueno!

Every year has its ups and downs. So whether you like it or not there is some bad juju that has accumulated in your household. You clearly wanna start the year afresh and the only way to do this is to swipe off las malas vibras. Just go to the entrance of your house, pour some water on the floor and expel it to the outside world! Now, we don’t know if this is metaphysically effective or not, but it sure is cathartic.  

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