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Christmas in Las Terrenas Samana Dominican Republic

Christmas in Las Terrenas Samana Dominican Republic

Christmas in Las Terrenas Samana Dominican Republic

Dominicans love to celebrate, no matter what the reason, and Christmas is no exception. On the contrary; if you come and visit the Dominican Republic anywhere between November and January you’ll find the country is already in the Christmas mode.
Shops start playing Christmas carols and selling Christmas decorations early November, and most people keep their Christmas decorations up until the end of January.

Christmas in Las Terrenas Samana Dominican Republic December
The whole month of December is a basic run-up to Christmas. Up until a few years ago the colmados(the local corner shops) would sell fireworks and local children would blast off firecrackers every so often culminating in nearly non-stop blasts closer to the date. The sale of fireworks has now been restricted for safety reasons but the occasional cracks can still be heard.

Also typical throughout the month of December are the sounds of classic merengue from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Just like any other day of the year, you’ll see Dominicans socializing and passing time on the side of the road, but before Christmas, you’ll find them listening and dancing to Perrico Ripiao, which without a doubt puts people in the Christmas mood.

As a traditional token of Christmas cheer, most employees receive an extra month pay in December. This is called Doble Sueldo, a Christmas bonus Dominican style. A chunk of this money is allocated towards rum and a few ice cold Presidente beers, consumed in between dance session outside the colmado while sitting on a beer case listening to merengue tunes.

Some families, groups of friends or co-workers play Angelitos, a type of Secret Santa. All names of the people in the group are put in a hat and everybody picks a name that is kept secret. Throughout the month of December little presents are given to the person whose name was picked and the trick is for that person not to find out who has been giving these presents. On the 24th a final present is given and identities are revealed.

Christmas in Las Terrenas Dominican Republic Decorations
Apart from flashy lights, Dominicans love to have a Christmas tree. The tree is usually artificial and re-used every year. Dominican families that do not have the economical means to buy a tree usually make their own Christmas tree called Charamico. It is basically a dried branch, painted white and decorated with lights, ribbons, glass balls, and anything else they can think of.

It is also tradition to also have a Nacimiento (a nativity scene) under the tree, representing the birth of Jesus, surrounded by Virgin Mary, Joseph, the Three Wise Men and, of course, all the animal from the stable.

Just before Christmas in Las Terrenas Samana Dominican Republic
One of the longest-standing Christmas traditions in the Dominican Republic is that at the end of the year you should ‘clean out the old’ and ‘start the new year fresh and clean’ to ensure good luck for the household. This means houses are scrubbed from top to bottom and a fresh coat of paint is usually applied.

It is also common to throw away all things old, especially old brooms. Drawers should all be cleaned out as well, and if you can afford it, ‘old clothes’ should be replaced with new ones. A lot of the doble sueldo received for December will be spent on new clothes, shoes and other accessories.

stock-footage--christmas-tree-on-caribbean-beach

Actual Christmas in Las Terrenas Samana Dominican Republic
Actual Christmas is celebrated on the evening of the 24th and on the 25th. The evening is reserved for home-made family Christmas dinners, with typically on the menu puerco asado (roasted pork), spaghetti, telera (a long, soft, white bread) and ensalada rusa (a mayonnaise based salad with potatoes, eggs and peas).

At midnight those who are more religious will go to the midnight mass, and those who missed the night session can go the next day at midday.
On both days Dominicans will dress to impress, finally unpacking and showing off all the new clothing they have bought in the last days / weeks.

It is not unusual to find people making bonfires in the streets of Dominican neighborhoods to cook Jengibre, a warm ginger drink that is given to all the neighbors and passers-by.

There is no real tradition of exchanging gifts, with the time spent eating and drinking with the family considered as being more important. Small children are usually given a gift on 6 January on Tres Reyes (Day of the Three Kings).
This is a basic sum-up of the Dominican Christmas traditions local style, but down at the beach you will find the other side of this holiday season

Christmas in Las Terrenas Samana Dominican Republic

Category : Blog &Dominican Republic

 

 

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