On December 7th is The Day of the Candles: This is the day according to the Catholic tradition commemorating the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary. People go out and light candles in the street. One week and a day after The Day of Candles, the eve of Christmas starts with Las Novenas. They are meetings that people do at different houses, to commemorate the nine days before Jesus was born; people gather, pray and feast together. These meetings are held in different places for nine consecutive days; hence the name Novenas, which is the feminine form of nine (novenus).
A new tradition is the Christmas tree; there is not an exact date when it was brought for the very first time. Some historians speculate it was around the 1960s with the rising of Protestant churches around the territory, and the custom was incorporated with old traditions. The original tradition was to create nativity scenes, a small scale model of which represents the journey of Mary and Joseph to Belen until the nativity of Jesus.
Fireworks are prohibited in the territory; no one can sell them or ignite them unless they have a professional license. That ban is because many people have been burned during the festivities and the government imposed it to avoid any tragedies at what was supposed to be a happy time for everyone.
Families gather around the 24th to have a family meal, something traditional that coincides with an American tradition. They eat turkey as if it were Thanksgiving; the theory is similar to Thanksgiving as people are with their families and enjoy a happy time together. They give thanks for everything good that happened that year. Families finish with the meal on the 24th and they go and have gift exchanges before waiting for Christmas Day.
Christmas, as with many other holidays, is a time to spend with family, friends and loved ones. It is a time to reflect on the many blessings and gifts you've enjoyed throught the year. What are some of your unique Christmas traditions?