Paraguay is located in the central part of South America. It is in northeast of Argentina and in south of Brazil and Bolivia. The country is predominantly Christian and therefore the Christmas festival has great importance in this country.
Christmas Celebrations in Paraguay :
Christmas in Paraguay has many native touches and the passion of the people for this festival is hardly found anywhere else. Christmas in Paraguay is celebrated in a deeply religious way. The country focuses on the birth and teachings of Jesus Christ. All the churches are decorated with lights and huge multicolor outdoor Christmas ornaments. The parks and the town squares are also adorned with big stars, Santa Claus and other lights decorations. The season is the Presebre or Nativity scene is exceedingly important for the people of Paraguay. Presebre is found in both the home and in churches.
Christmas in Paraguay is celebrated by gathering the entire family for a large late-night feast. The use of Christmas trees has started to take hold here, as have Christmas lights in some chuchi areas, but for the most part decorations take the form of pesebres (nativity scenes). Pesebres come in all styles and sizes to suit all budgets. They always include figures of the Three Kings accompanied by their camels, the Angel Gabriel, Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and a couple of farm animals thrown in for good measure. Here Baby Jesus tends to be almost as large as the adult figures which include Ka´avove´i fronds to create a canopy overhead and grass, sand, stones and water for a nature-inspired ambiance.
As far as food is concerned there is no one traditional dish – everything goes. Most people make a mix of typical Paraguayan foods like sopa paraguaya and chipa guazú to accompany more modern fare like rice and meat dishes. Lately having a turkey has come into fashion (they are brought in frozen from Brazil for the most part). The Christmas toast is done with sidra (cider) or champagne. Throughout the day though it is traditional to drink “clericó” which is a Paraguayan take on sangría. Clericó is made of chopped fruit (usually grapes, melon and pineapple), table wine, water, sugar and ice. You can also add fruit flavored soda to make it more kid-friendly. In the countryside clericó is served out of a kambuchí to keep it cool.
Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!