Ecuador officially the Republic of Ecuador is a democratic republic located in South America. It is bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific.
Christmas Celebrations in Ecuador :
In Ecuador, Christmas festivities are called Pase del Niño Viajero.
In Ecuador, Christmas is mainly a religious festival. This is the most important celebration in the whole year. It is the day of celebration and gathering of the whole family for the Christmas dinner on 24 December. Turkey or pig is the main course, while dessert consists of pristiños, fried ring-shaped pastries basted with cinnamon syrup.
As Ecuador is a Catholic country, preparing the crib is one of the main occupation during the Advent. Another one is the prayer to the Holy infant Jesus which is said each evening, as of 16 December. This tradition is deep-rooted and families pray at home each evening during the eight days preceding the Noche Buena. On this last day of the Advent, the prayer is said in the house where Christmas dinner will be served. A few days before, the Holy infant Jesus resting in the crib is covered with a veil, thus allowing to mimic and celebrate His birth by taking off the veil on 24 December.
At midnight on 24 December, gifts brought for children and adults by Santa Claus who left them under the Christmas tree are given. An adult is usually in charge of giving them; however, when many children attend the celebration someone dresses up as Santa Claus and comes in with a bag containing the gifts. Family members accompanying themselves with music instruments to sing Christmas carols.
Another common occupation for the kids is their “letter to the infant Jesus”. It has to be written at least a month before Christmas. In their letter, children explain how well they behaved and make out a list of the gifts they wish to receive at Christmas time.
The most common tree used as Christmas tree is cypress. The most popular plant during this season is the “Poinsettia” which has red and numerous green leaves recalling the Christmas colors. One of them is “Easter flower” (Fiore di Pasqua).
The Christmas day – 25 December is a day complete holiday. Families will gather together, sometimes welcoming members of their family who could not attend the Christmas Eve dinner.
Christmas celebrations are bigger in big and populated cities like Guayaquil, Quito, Cuenca, Santo Domingo, Machala, Durán, Manta, Portoviejo, Loja, Ambato, etc.
We wish all readers Merry Christmas 2016 & Prosperous New Year 2017 !!!