Comin’ at cha with a shortie but goodie, our good friend Ricardo from right in the capital city of Guayaquil divulges a bit about Christmas in Ecuador for our 6th installment of “12 Countries in 12 Days of Christmas”. Enjoy!
What is Christmas in Ecuador like?
Christmas in Ecuador starts the first day of December when people decorate theirs houses with Xmas’ ornaments. they love to fill the facades with colorful lights and Santa’s dolls. there is even a xmas contests among neighborhoods. The best-decorated neighborhood wins many prizes given from the City Hall. Since we are in the southern hemisphere we enjoy a hot weather—many people spend Christmas at the beach. In the city the streets are decorated as well, giving the Christmas atmosphere we love. on Christmas day at midnight people go to the church for a Christmas mass called “misa de gallo”.
What are some traditions in your own family?
The family tradition is to get together on the 24th and have a dinner right at midnight. We start Xmas eating turkey or roasted pork, hot chocolate, panettone, cake and ice cream, rice and potato salad and lots of candies. afterwards we go to the tree and get the Christmas presents. we listen to Christmas carols during the night. The adults stay up very late talking and kids go to bed.
What foods/meals are a part of the holiday season?
Usually we eat roasted pork, chicken or turkey. The turkey was adopted lately from the American tradition. We have hot chocolate, and everyone in Ecuador drinks hot chocolate and eat panettone that night. In other regions, especially in the mountains, people eat roasted pork or roasted guinea pigs with corn and other grains.
We listen to classical Christmas songs, there is not a difference to other countries, but of course, all of them in Spanish.
What symbol represents Christmas?
The symbol of Christmas in Ecuador would be “El Nacimiento”, which is the representation of Jesus in the manger. I think there is one in every home. We like to put lots of shepherds and animals, not only sheep but also chickens, pigs, horses, llamas, rabbits, ducks and other animals. There are 3 wise men, a big star, Joseph and Mary, but we don’t put Jesus in the manger until it is midnight the 24th.