Christmas in Puerto Rico – Get Inspired from Their Devotion

The month of December, particularly around the Christmas season is one of the most anticipated times of the year in the entire world.

Many celebrations, events, and festivals take place during this time.

Christmas time is crucial to the Puertos. They commemorate the birth of their savior Jesus Christ. Down in Puerto Rico, Christmas is known as Navidad.

It takes place uniquely among the people of Puerto Rico.

Misa de Aguinaldos

Most Puerto Ricans follow the Catholic faith. Misa de Aguinaldos are Catholic Masses held from the 15th to 24th December. They take place at around 6 am for those ten days. Songs fill the air during these masses.

The instruments played in this festive season include:

  1.     Guitars
  2.     Cuatro (a Puerto Rican guitar)
  3.     Maracas
  4.     Guiros

Spectacular Christmas Eve

The night of the 24th December is special to the Puertos. This evening is more important than Christmas day itself.

The eve is commonly known as ‘Nochebuena.’ It is during this time that the main festivities happen. There is a joyous mood everywhere.

The serving of the main Christmas food occurs during the eve. Besides, songs and dances add up to the festive moods.

Christmas Day (Navidad) is when the people relax from the activities of the previous night. At midnight, there is a special mass held. It is known as Misa de Gallo, which means ‘mass of the rooster.’

According to tradition, families should attend this mass and take part in the celebrations.

A lot of candles light up the churches, and the participants sing Christmas carols. During the masses, there is an act by kids whose dress code resembles that of people from the story of Christmas.

Christmas Carols

Christmas carols known as ‘Parrandas’ are very common among the people of Puerto Rico during the Christmas season.

In the evening, at around 10 pm, they gather in groups and visit different houses while singing the carols.

Also Read:  Mayan vs Aztec: Difference and Comparison

Those who participate in this fun exercise are known as ‘Parranderos.’ Mostly, the singing ends at the break of dawn.

The fun part is that; as they visit each house, those who are woken up by the singing should join the crowd.

As more people join in the singing, so does the group grow in number.

The people also sing traditional Christmas songs and play them on their instruments.

Special Christmas Meals

In Puerto Rico, the main Christmas meals include:

  1.     Roast pork (lechon asado) – Rice and pigeon peas accompany the roasted pork.
  2.     Platano (plantains)
  3.     Pasteles – Dough made from a mixture of mashed bananas and meat. It’s cooked while wrapped in banana leaves.
Christmas Meal Puerto Rico

Roasting the pork is not a simple task. It starts in the morning and could take the whole day to have it ready.

Therefore, to reduce boredom and idleness, a lot of songs played during the day to keep people lively.

Popular desserts include ‘Arroz con dulce’ (rice pudding) and ‘tembleque’ (a sauce made with coconut milk).

The desserts are served cold. It is the responsibility of the guests to bring desserts to the people they visit.

The Climax of the Season

It happens on 28th December, which is known as ‘Dia de Los Inocentes’ (Holy day of innocents).

This day is celebrated to commemorate the killing of children under the age of two, which was ordered by King Herod I. During this day, some men dress and act as Herod’s soldiers.

They then pretend to take children away. People have to offer the men candy so that they can release the children.

The Christmas season comes to an end, and the Puerto Ricans now prepare to enter the New Year.

Learn More With the Help of Video

Main Points About Christmas in Puerto Rico

  1. Christmas festivity in Puerto Rico is a religious celebration filled with special moments with family, traditions and colorful merriments.
  2. Nativity scenes are popular in Puerto Rico as well as greenery decorations. Midnight mass (Misa del Gallo) Christmas plays and Christmas carols (Parrandas) are very common around Christmas time.
  3. On Christmas Eve (Nochebuena), the Christmas meal is eaten. The dishes include pig, rice, pigeon peas, green bananas, coconut milk, and cinnamon.
  4. The Christmas festivity begins early in November and runs through till the middle of January.
  5. From the 15th to the 24th of December, special catholic masses (Misa de Aguinaldos) are held.
Also Read:  Christianity vs Catholicism: Difference and Comparison


Don’t be surprised if you are woken up by carol singing around 10 pm in the evening in Puerto Rico.

There’s a tradition of gathering and going from house to house carol singing with your friends, and once woken up/visited by singers, the so-called ”parranda”, you have to join!

People decorate their homes similar to how houses in the USA are decorated but also with palm tree branches and other greenery.

Word Cloud for Christmas in Puerto Rico

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Puerto Rico. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Christmas in Puerto Rico

Last Updated : 24 November, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

10 thoughts on “Christmas in Puerto Rico – Get Inspired from Their Devotion”

  1. The Christmas traditions in Puerto Rico are a beautiful reflection of the rich cultural heritage and strong sense of community. It’s inspiring to witness the festivities and traditions that bring people together in celebration.

  2. The customs and traditions surrounding Christmas in Puerto Rico are truly unique and vibrant. It’s fascinating to learn about the special Masses, lively caroling, and traditional meals that make this season so special for the Puerto Ricans.

  3. The rich cultural traditions and customs of Puerto Rico are truly remarkable, especially during the Christmas season. It’s wonderful to see how they blend religious observance and festive merrymaking.

  4. What a fascinating insight into the Christmas traditions of Puerto Rico! It’s amazing how they celebrate the entire season with such fervor and tradition.

  5. I find it remarkable how the Christmas celebrations in Puerto Rico are marked by a harmonious blend of religious customs, festive rituals, and communal traditions. It’s a beautiful illustration of cultural continuity.

  6. The blend of religious devotion, community spirit, and joyful merrymaking during the Christmas season in Puerto Rico is truly captivating. It’s an enchanting cultural experience.

  7. The festive traditions and customs of Puerto Rico during the Christmas season are truly captivating. It’s heartwarming to see the spirit of togetherness and celebration that defines this special time of year.

  8. While the Christmas celebrations in Puerto Rico are steeped in tradition and religious significance, the festive spirit and sense of community are truly heartwarming. It’s a testament to the spirit of togetherness and joy.

  9. I appreciate the detailed account of the religious and cultural significance of Christmas in Puerto Rico. It’s enlightening to learn about the customs and traditions observed during this festive season.

  10. The Christmas season in Puerto Rico is filled with fascinating customs and religious observances that reflect the cultural identity of the people. It’s a testament to the enduring traditions and values of the community.

Comments are closed.

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!