We are in one of the most exciting times of the year: the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, in recent times, the Christmas holidays have taken on a more commercial and less religious meaning.
Christmas is celebrated in every part of the world, with several customs and rituals. Still, these different ways of commemorating the date are united by the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the son of God.
In the Dominican Republic, the Christmas season is a reason for family gatherings, in which people share gifts, smiles, hugs, and good wishes. Celebratory dinners also take place. These typically include baked pork, turkey, chicken, “moro de gandules,” and “telera” (bread). They are also complemented with wine, punch, apples, grapes, raisins, and different types of sweets. In our country, the celebration of Christmas or Christmas Eve varies depending on the region, but normally, the changes are very few.
Christmas trees are a universal symbol, decorated with multicolored lights, and considered one of the most beautiful traditions of this holiday. It is one of the traditional ornaments in the Dominican homes, accompanied by the manger that symbolizes baby Jesus’ birth.
The celebrations focus on Christmas bonuses, consisting of the gathering of a group of friends and family who, starting at midnight and without warning, knock on the door of neighbors and acquaintances to the rhythm of Christmas carols or merengue. The most common song is the famous potpourri “Happy I Come from the Mountain,” with which is possible to wake up the visitors, many of them joining the celebration.
Regarding the delivery of gifts or toys to children, the tradition in the Dominican Republic is divided. Many people deliver them on the night of the 24th, especially in the North Region of the country. Others do it on January 6th, the Three Kings’ Day, or on December 25th, adopting the North American idea that it is Santa Claus or Father Christmas who brings the gifts.