Father Christmas is called Papai Noel. Many Christmas customs are
similar to USA or UK. For those who have enough money, a special
Christmas meal will be chicken, turkey, ham, rice, salad, pork, fresh
and dried fruits, often with beer. Poorer people will just have chicken
Chile is located in Southwestern South America, bordering the South
Atlantic Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, between Argentina and Peru.
As in most Latin American nations, Chile's Christmas celebrations center
on the church and the family. The nation's Catholics observe the novena,
nine days of prayer and fasting before Christmas.
Father Christmas is known as Viejito Pascuero and he would
wish everyone a Feliz Navidad y un Prospero Anc Nuevo or Happy
Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. The children keep a watch for Viejo
Pascuero, or Old Man Christmas. He looks very much like Santa Claus
and he also arrives with a team of reindeer which is quite unusual since
it's summer in South America during the month of December. In Chile little figures made of clay are placed under the Christmas
tree called pesebre.
The chimneys on the homes are quite small in this warm climate,
therefore Viejo Pascuero climbs through the window with his gifts.
Christmas Eve dinner is eaten very late, most often after Midnight Mass
or Misa del Gallo, and consists of turkey and an array of salads,
seafood, and olives, accompanied by the local wine, for which Chile is
well known. Deserts always include Pan de Pascua, a sweet
Christmas bread, along with fruit, cake and cookies.
Christmas day is a family day and the days following are for visiting
neighbors and friends.
People go to the church with family,
then come back to a family gathering. At midnight after eating they
toast, then the adults' dance while younger people go out to see the
fireworks. After this they go to sleep, but before opening the presents
under the Christmas tree. That day is very special for because they are
Christian and celebrate Jesus' birth on the 24th of December.
The dinner food is pork, turkey, and a great variety of meals. Then
the table is covered with sweet things, cider, beer, and juice for
consuming while waiting for the time of the toast. After the toast all
the family chat, others play.
Houses are decorated with red and white garlands; on the door Father
Christmas's Boots are placed. The Christmas tree is decorated with
colored lights, ornaments and Father Christmas placed on top of it.
Mothers make different kinds of meals such as roasted turkey, roasted
pork, stuffed tomatoes, mince pies, Christmas's bread and puddings. The
toast: drink prepared with different kinds of fruit which is cut into
pieces, then it is mixed with juice and cider.
In Venezuela on December 16th families
bring out their pesebres which is a specially designed and
thought out depiction of the nativity scene.
It is a custom to attend at one of nine carol services is observed by
most venezuelans. Firecrackers explode and bells ring to call
worshippers from bed in the predawn hours. The last of the of the masses
takes place on Nochebuena de Navidad Christmas Eve.
Families attend a mass on this night and then return home to a huge and
On January 6th when the children awaken they will discover that the
straw that they had left beside theie bed the night before has gone and
in its place are gifts the children know that the Magi and their camels
have been and when they go to look in the mirror if they have a black
smudge on their cheek they know that Balthasar, King of the Ethiopians
has kissed them whilst they slept.