Christmas in Nicaragua

Nicaragua officially the Republic of Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordering Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

The Capital and largest city of this country is Managua.

Christmas in Nicaragua

Christmas Celebrations in Nicaragua :

Christmas in Nicaragua may lack snow and evergreen trees, but the people of Nicaragua still celebrate in great measure with their families. Leading up to Christmas, Catholics in Nicaragua celebrate La Purisma and La Griteria in honor of Mary. They express gratefulness for her purity and humble role with parades, tributes, and celebrations in the streets of large cities. Next comes Las Posadas. Churches in the U.S. often have a Nativity play, but what if it lasted 9 days? During Las Posadas, community members representative of Mary and Joseph travel from home to home, being refused lodging until the ninth day, when they are welcomed to an inn and there is a great celebration. During this time, whole communities come together to put on or watch the play, which recognizes the hardship of Mary’s pregnancy and the miracle of birth. Christmas Day is celebrated with fun, feasts, fireworks and dancing.

Christmas in Nicaragua

Christmas in Nicaragua begins officially on the 6th of December. On December 7th with the Nicaraguans celebrating “La Purisima” or the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary. People of this country specially youngsters, go home to home and sing loudly the hymns honouring the Virgin Mary for which every house rewards the performers with generous treats including items like rosquillas, leche de burra (a sweet called donkey’s milk) nacatamal (tamal stuffed with meat) oranges, lemons, and chopped caña (cane). Children carry beautiful bouquets to the alter of the Virgin and sing carols. Many of these grand celebrations are enjoyed in the cities, but in Rainbow’s remote villages, holidays are less decorative. Some families still give small gifts, like fruits, to children for Christmas, and El Hombre Viejo (a straw doll like a scarecrow dressed in old clothes) is a tradition in some communities.

People move towards the main streets market to buy candles, images of Nativity, presents, small Nativity figures, toys, flower bouquets and various types of food items. The main streets of the town and cities are decorated and have loud-speakers broadcasting Christmas carols. Splendid fireworks are to be beheld all over the sky throughout the month of December. The whole family decorates the Christmas tree that they buy for the occassion. The festival, however, actually begins on December 16 with the performance of the lodging difficulties of Mary and Joseph. Every home carefully constructs a manger scene for this purpose. The home where lodging is found, supplies wine and food. Every home contains a manger scene. After Christmas Eve Mass, the Christmas dinner is consumed with only the adults in attendance. Christmas cards are exchanged which are white and plain.

From December 16 until Christmas Eve Mass, prayer is held each evening in the home, followed by refreshments and the singing of carols. In small towns, there is an old custom of the Catholic Church organising a parade or “procession”. On the morning of December 24th, all in the family work together to prepare the Christmas dinner. The Nicaraguan Christmas celebration is largely influenced by ancient Spanish traditions. Hence, the menu traditionally consists of Valencian style rice similar to Paella, stuffed chicken, nacatamal, and freshly baked bread. Spanish biscochos are served for dessert. On Christmas Eve, church bells are rung which signify the start of the Midnight Mass. Thousands attend this Christmas Eve Mass, after which everyone enjoys the Christmas dinner together. White-coloured Christmas cards are exchanged on this occassion.

Contrary to the American celebration of Christmas on 25th December, the festival here is celebrated a day earlier. Christmas Day is celebrated with fun, feasts, fireworks and dancing. The main streets of the town and cities are decorated and have loud-speakers broadcasting Christmas carols. On December 25th, everyone wakes up early in the morning. While the adults go to the market to purchase the food to be prepared for the Christmas dinner, kids look for toys on their pillows or rush to find gifts placed under the Christmas tree by Papa Noel. Here, children write letters to Papa Noel, the Nicaraguan equivalent of Santa Clus, asking him to bring them the toys and gifts they want to receive at midnight on December 24th.

“Merry Christmas” in Nicaragua is “Feliz Navidad” 

Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!