¡Felices fiestas! Get Jolly with Holiday Phrases in Spanish
The holiday season always runs strong in Latinoamérica. A large portion of us are Christian (around 80%), and there’s no shortage of decorations, food, and jingles all around the country since early November. We have lots of fun traditions that are important to our culture, like building a miniature model of the Nativity Scene, eating tamales with the family, and setting off countless fireworks at midnight. I’ve had foreign friends tell me how crazy our celebrations are, and they’re not wrong! In my family, we have food, prayer and family reunions from the morning of the 24th all the way to midnight on Christmas. Depending on where you are, you can go out in the streets filled with families having posadas, which is a much more crowded version of Christmas caroling.
La quema del diablo
In Guatemala, there’s a holiday called ‘la quema del diablo,’ or ‘the devil’s burning.’ Every year on September 7, people take out all of their old things to donate or get rid of while cleaning house. There are lots of little devil píñatas on the street, which people buy and then burn as a sign of cleansing the spirit. Controversy always arises with this holiday because people tend to go overboard, burning garbage and rubber, as well as large amounts of paper. Lots of PSAs roll around reminding people to be careful around fire and not to contaminate. But it’s not all bad! Some families celebrate by doing a night-time barbecue with friends, which is still burning something — only this time, it’s delicious! Overall, it’s a beautiful tradition, although I hope we can find a cleaner solution someday.
The New Year tradition is very similar in Latinoamérica when compared to the US. We have parties, countdowns, and fireworks for everyone! These few months sure are full of interesting things to discover. Learn more about New Year’s in Latin America here.
Holiday Words and Phrases
Whether you’re in a Spanish-speaking country, or you got invited to dinner by your Spanish-speaking friends, here are some festive words and phrases for you to practice:
Now you’re ready to go to that dinner and have a great time! Regardless of your country of origin or religion, this is a time to be together with your loved ones and eat yummy food, of course! If you want to get better at Spanish, grab a free class today at HSA and get ready to get jolly!
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