From “villancicos” to “parrandas” our version of Christmas involves lots of singing, dancing, eating and sharing with la familia y vecinos. For those of us that grew up in the Caribbean, or whose family originate from there, can attest to how infectious and fun aguinaldos, parrandas, trullas, o asaltos are. Surely, the rest of our Latin American familia have similar traditions to share.
It does not take much for a parranda to kick off. If no instruments are handy just grab some pots and pans or anything that would make noise, burst out those traditional songs and take to the streets of el barrio. The neighbors are sure to join in. Then do the “asalto” at any closed door to see how long it takes for that neighbor to come out. All the while singing and celebrating the fusion of our European, Native and African blood.
Then we also have villancicos that some say originated in Spain in the XV century and are our version of Christmas carols. Villancicos, unlike parrandas, typically involve choirs and have a more religious overtone.
Lastly, cannot forget the traditional misa de gallo or midnight mass, which was a must for our family after “noche buena.” The Christmas holiday season perfectly incorporates pagan and religious traditions that prompts us to be more neighborly and charitable towards each other.
And so it goes that “parrandas” mark the start of festivities through “el Dia de Reyes” or Three Kings Day. In any event, we just wanted to wish you a wonderful Navidad y Noche Buena! Here are some of our favorite aguinaldos, asaltos, parrandas o trullas.
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