Category: Christmas in Puerto Rico

Christmas in Puerto Rico: Puerto Rican Roast Pork

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The Puerto Rican roast pork or as it’s commonly known “lechón asado” is a staple in every menu across the island during the Christmas holiday. Served with arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), guineos en escabeche (pickled green bananas), pasteles (similar to tamales), and ensalada de coditos (cold pasta salad) it is an explosion of flavors and pure deliciousness!

Be warned! This menu is not for those on a diet! ?

Parrandas (Puerto Rican version of the U.S.Caroling)

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In the middle of the night many Puerto Ricans during the holiday season gather together with musical instruments and sneak up at the doorway of unsuspecting homes to give them a “parranda!”  
♫♫♫♫ ¡Asalto! ¡Te traigo esta trulla pa’ que te levantes! ¡Te traigo esta trulla pa’ que te levantes! ¡Esta trulla esta caliente, esta trulla esta que arde! ♫♫♫♫

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Photo courtesy of my sister Gladys E. Cancel 🙂

 

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Celebrating “Noche Buena” (Christmas Eve) in Puerto Rico

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Although we’re living in the US little one has been fortunate enough to celebrate a Noche Buena in Puerto Rico. Noche Buena is celebrated on Christmas Eve (December 24th) with a huge family gathering, food,  music, singing aguinaldos Navideños (similar to Christmas carols), and at midnight everyone goes to the Misa de Gallo (Rooster’s Mass: a solemn and festive Mass). The celebration would go until late hours of the night!
We also have a gift exchange with all of the extended family members (though little ones will have to wait until morning to see what Santa brought for them, yeah Puerto Rico has been commercialized with Santa Claus, as well!).
My fondest memories growing up were always on Noche Buena because it was a time to rejoice and celebrate around the Nativity scene for baby Jesus to be born, and to celebrate with the family, and a grand feast with Puerto Rican delicacies such as:

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