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 Christ, Claus and the evolution of our most popular holiday


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Puerto Rico - Christmas traditions & customs

Early in the Christmas season, carolers begin going from house to house and from farm to farm. They wear homemade costumes of what the Magi might have worn and sing bright Spanish carols called aquinaldos and villancicos. They are rewarded with food and drink, and many from each house will join them, so that eventually there are great crowds going singing from place to place.

Nine days before Christmas, the Mass of the Carols begins. This takes place each morning at 5:30 a.m. It is filled with music and usually the caroling continues on the way to work or home. The manger scenes are peopled with santos, hand-carved figures, that represent some oldest works of art. The tree and Santa Claus are also popular. Gifts arrive Christmas morning, but also on the Epiphany.

On January 5 in the evening, children leave water, grass and grain under their beds for the camels of the Wise Men and the next day find presents in their place.


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