Feliz Navidad y Prospera Año Nuevo
It is my ardent hope that each of you receive as much joy this Christmas as I am receiving. My vision is recovering a little more each day. This, I am convinced, is in no small part due to the good words you all put in with El Señoir . With my computer set at 2X I am able to see the screen by putting my nose close to the touch pad and looking over the top of the bubble of gas that is inside of my eye. I can maintain focus for about ten minutes at a time. But every day I note improvement. I want to share with you how Christmas is celebrated in Venezuela.
Christmas in Venezuela
Today, the 24th, is the most important day of the Christmas season. It is called La Noche Buenam The Night of Goodness. Families begin to gather, generally at grandma’s house, at around 7:00 pm and the cokking begins. Although roast pork and chicken are almost always served as side dishes, the most important part of the meal is hallacas. Hallacas are made by first cooking a thick stew of pork and chicken Then a dough of precooked corn flour is kneeded by hand until it is smooth and thick. This dough is then patted out thinly on banana leafs to cover an area about eight inches square. Two soup spoons of the stew are placed on the spread out dough along with a few raisens and a few plives. The banana leafs are then folded to form a rectangle of about three inches by seven inches. They are then tied with string and boiled for about thirty minutes.
The second most important food served on La Noche Buena is Pande Jamon, ham bread. This made by rolling out a thin bread dough and covering it with thin slices of boiled ham along with raisens and olives. This is then roled into a loaf and cooked in the oven untilgolden brown.
Als, there will be Tejados. Tejados are made from platano, which is in the banana family. Platano are much larger than bananas and not nearly as sweet. However, when the fruit is biled, it becomes more sweet and is served as a side dish like you might serve sweet potatos.
A Venezuelan fruit cke is also served called Torta Negra, or black cake.
Dinner is served at around 11:00 pm and only light snacking is permited until then so that everyone has a good appitite when the food is finally served.
Venezuelans enjoy American Christmas Charols but they have their own traditional Christmas music called Gaita. I have embedded an example below.
At mid-night gifts are exchanged but the fiesta continues to the wee hours of the morning.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all!