Christmas and New Year in Chile

What’s Christmas like in Chile?  Asides from being boiling hot?  Here are some Christmas facts…  Let’s go:

  • Christmas is celebrated on the night of 24th December.DSC04397
  • Christmas decorations are still focused on the cold; snowmen, snowflakes and children in hat and scarves can be seen everywhere.  Despite the fact that outside will be more than 30 degrees!!
  • Chileans have one day of holiday for Christmas; 25th December.DSC04394
  • Christmas dinner is eaten in the evening, and some families even eat at 1am if they go to midnight mass.DSC04361
  • Pan de Pascua (Christmas cake) is eaten throughout the month of December and is made up of fruits, raisins, almonds and walnuts.  Pan de Pascua was actually introduced to Chile by German immigrants.
  • Very few people send Christmas cards in Chile, that’s definitely an English tradition that I miss.DSC04396
  • Presents are opened at midnight on 24th December.
  • A typical drink for Christmas time is cola de mono which means monkey tail.  It’s a refreshing drink made from milk, sugar, coffee, cloves and a spirit called aguardiente. 
    DSC04392

    Our little slice of London ๐Ÿ™‚

    And what about new year’s eve?
  • Women wear yellow underwear on new year’s eve to bring them luck throughout the new year.  All the markets on the week before new year are full of yellow underwear!
  • If you are hoping to travel in the next year, you carry a suitcase around the block.DSC04395
  • Chileans eat twelve grapes just before the clock chimes midnight.
  • Lentils can also be eaten before midnight in the hope that this will bring great things for the year ahead.

Do you have any of these traditions?

Marcella xx

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30 thoughts on “Christmas and New Year in Chile

  1. Sounds great! So they wear yellow, and we wear red! The grapes thing for New Year is the same as in Spain. I celebrated once New Year’s in Madrid:) Love your red phone box Christmas tree decoration:)

  2. Interesting post. I’ve never been to South America, so I’m intrigued. And a little puzzled. Do the ingredients for cola de mono really include clothes?! Cloves maybe? I have moved back to London after a few years as an expat, and I’m posting photos of Christmas decorations here, so if you want another slice of London, have a look at my blog “Distant Drumlin”. On Oxford Street and Bond Street they are re-using last year’s lights!

  3. It’s so great to hear about Christmas traditions of other nations! Thanks for sharing. I guess every country/nation has their own, unique ones, as well as some that are shared with other nations.

  4. hahaha oh man the suitcase thing – my grandmother did that every year! And she did travel a whole lot until about a year before she died, so seems to work! ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t fully understand the Christmas card hype in Britain – I’m currently receiving a bunch of cards with barely anything written in them lol I just don’t see the point! But trying to be polite and sending them around as well haha

  5. Ahhhh, I looove reading about Christmas traditions in other countries… and adopting some of them as my own! My stepmother is Venezuelan and one New Year’s she made us all eat grapes at midnight… I really liked that one ๐Ÿ™‚ The yellow underwear tradition is pretty unique, too! I totally didn’t expect that the Christmas decorations there would still be snow-themed….. huh.

    • I think the grape tradition is really fun too, I wonder why it began!? I also think it’s kind of crazy that they still have snow themed decorations – they should have Santa in summer clothes, I think. As for the yellow underwear, I saw some stalls full of yellow knickers yesterday, so they must be getting ready haha!!

  6. I loved reading about the different traditions of other cultures! I think some of the Chilean New Years traditions are so cute, hehe, like the suitcase one! The Christmas drink also sounds delicious. For Beijingers, for the new year, we eat noodles, because noodles are long, so it’s supposed to bring luck and long lives.

  7. That’s hysterical that decorations are still “cold” even though it’s really hot in Chile during Christmas! I guess American movies and such have done their job influencing … oh and of course Santa lives at the North Pole where it’s cold ๐Ÿ™‚ In Spain people where red underwear for good luck.. such a funny tradition ๐Ÿ™‚

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