Christmas in Paraguay
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 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.December is the summer season in South America, and there is a profusion of flowers growing everywhere at this time of year. Christmas in Paraguay sees flowers being used extensively in church and home decorations. On Christmas Eve, church bells summon the people to church at midnight for La Misa Del Gallo or the Mass of the Rooster. The Christmas feasting begins when family and friends return home from Mass.On January 6, the feast of Epiphany is held and the Three Kings bring gifts for the children of Paraguay. On the night before Epiphany, children set out their shoes with letters to the kings. If you want to know more on the Christmas celebrations in Paraguay, stay connected to Christmas Carnivals.
Christmas Music I’m a big fan of Christmas music as a means to get into the Holiday spirit but apart from a few English Christmas songs playing in the background of some seasonal political ads and Paraguayan game shows this tradition has not yet caught on here. The music on the radio stayed the same throughout the season and even the pre-Christmas church service lacked the traditional “silent night” or “joy to the world.”
Christmas Gifts As far as gifts go, only one, a Little Tikes city play set, was given to one of the grandchildren. Here gift giving at Christmas just isn’t a custom though I’ve heard the younger kids are still waiting on the 3 kings to arrive…
Malls As we sworn in as volunteers at the beginning of December and had a nice weekend vacation in the capitol before heading up to our site I had the privilege of checking out the mall scene in the capitol. The experience was honestly quite overwhelming as malls here are almost identical to malls in the states and in preparation for the season of commercialization they were covered with holiday décor, lights and more.
Doggy Firefighter One of the true highlights of my New Year’s Eve in Paraguay was watching my host family’s very own Doggy Firefighter, named Tiger, jump to the scene and put out every shining sparkler the family lit. I really I wish I had my camera with me as I’m sure “Doggy Firefighter” would’ve been an instant youtube hit.
Family While all the holiday films and Christmas music from the States talk about family, often times the idea gets lost amongst the lights and décor. Here in Paraguay with less music and gifts to interfere it helped clear up what Christmas really is all about. While my host family had put up a small artificial tree and some colored lights on the house the real thing that made me think of the holidays back at home was the last minute rushing and yelling in preparation for the pending church service. My Skype video chat with my family back in the States in the corner internet café was my Christmas gift this year and next Christmas I look forward to once again bringing in the season with them.
Appologies for not including fotos this time around. I have them but the internet cafe I´m at is way too slow to upload them right now. I will try my best to get them posted shortly.
December 8th is when Christmas preparations actually start in Paraguay, December 8th is called the celebration of Caacupe Virgin Holiday. On January 6th, the feast of Epiphany is held and the three kings brings gifts for children. on the night before Epiphany, children set out shoes with letters to the three kings, almost in the way we set out cookies and milk for Santa Claus.
Christmas is an important holiday in the christian Paraguay and is celebrated with the Christmas festivals, popular foods eaten in Paraguay during Christmas , are pineapples,papayas, hard sweet candies, Doulce de luche and Asadas or barbeques.
Celebrating Christmas in Paraguay is similar to how we celebrate Christmas in the U.S. in the fact that both countries decorate with lights and ornaments, they also feast with family and friends and open presents.
Christmas in the U.S. is typically celebrated by decorating Christmas trees, wrapping presents and gifts, hanging stockings for our Santa Claus to fill, singing Christmas carols and feasting with family and friends.
In Paraguay they also have a form of Santa Claus, but he is called Papa Noel.
In America, we have an umbrella of tradition. we celebrate only one day of December as Christmas, with the exception of Christmas eve preparations for Santa Claus, we believe in reindeer, elfs, Mrs. Claus, the north pole, and many other Christmas symbols that complete the American Christmas!
Christmas traditions in Paraguay
The country of Paraguay focuses mainly on the birth and teachings of Jesus Christ, all churches are decorated with lights and huge multicolored ornaments, parks and town squares are decorated with big stars, Santa Clauses and other lights. December being the summer season of South America, Christmas in Paraguay is celebrated with the bright colored flowers that grow during the season. In every home there is a nativity scene or a “pesebre”. on Christmas eve there is a midnight mass in all the churches. The church bells summon the people for the midnight mass for La Misa Del Gallo or he mass of the rooster, After the mass Christmas dinner is consumed and presents are opened.
Paraguay is overwhelmingly roman catholic, there are also protestant influences and small groups of Buddhist and jewish faiths.
Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!