In our last newsletter we shared a bit about the first half of the year-end holiday festivities that take place in Nicaragua. We would like to continue to share with you what the rest of the year looks like because it’s such an important and interesting part of the culture!
This holiday season continues to be a favorite and important one! Locals will prepare for a long evening of celebration on the 24th, often attending church service or mass beforehand. Fireworks will be purchased. Many houses will have been freshly painted. Traditional dishes will be prepared to share with friends and family.The bulk of the evening's activities take place in front of the homes, as locals pull out tables and chairs onto the sidewalks, and sometimes even the street. Here is where they will gather for an evening of dancing, eating, drinking, fireworks, and fun. Celebrations often run well into the early morning, and often many people don’t even sleep! Instead, they move to the beach where they spend the 25th with their family. "I really like the month of December because the school year is finished and I am on vacation. I also get to celebrate with my family.”-Brandon Joshua, 12 years old.
On Dec 31, similar to Christmas Eve, Nicaraguans gather again outside their homes early in the evening and spend the night waiting for midnight to ring in the new year with their friends and family. Besides similar activities to Navidad, a fun tradition for this evening is what is called the Año Viejo, which literally means “old year”. For Año Viejo, a human sized dummy is dressed in old clothes and burned at midnight as part of the celebration of bringing in the new year. Another main attraction is the wonderful holiday dish which is often stuffed loin or chicken with gravy and a bread stuffing with olives, plums, capers, onion, celery, condor wine, milk, mustard, raisins, grapes, and butter.
We hope that one day you can visit us to enjoy our traditions, or if you have already visited, it will be awesome to have you return!