Christmas in Chile

Christmas in Chile is very warm as it's in the middle of summer! However, it shares many of the same Christmas customs as the USA.

People like to decorate their houses with Christmas Trees and lights. Having Christmas lights is a fairly recent development with more people being able to afford them. Sometimes neighbors compete to see who can have the best and most lights!

Nativity Scenes are also an important decoration. They have little clay figures (called 'pesebre') in them.

Many Catholics in Chile celebrate Advent and also go to special church services for nine days before Christmas. These services are known as a Novena.

Christmas Eve is the most important day over Christmas. Families and friends gather together for a big meal in the evening, eaten about 9pm or 10pm. Many people like to have 'asado' (barbecue) and chicken, turkey and pork. The Chilean Christmas Cake is ‘Pan de Pascua’ which is quite like Panettone.

A popular Christmas drink is 'Cola de Mono' (or monkey's tail) which is made from coffee, milk, liquor, cinnamon and sugar.

After the meal, some people like to go to a church service.

At midnight everyone opens their presents! Children sometimes go round each others houses with their new toys - even in the middle of the night!

In Chile, Santa is called 'Viejito Pascuero' (Old Man Christmas) or sometimes 'Papa Noel' (Father Christmas).

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Christmas Day is a more relaxed day which is spent with family and friends. If you live near the coast, many people will go to the beach.