Nochebuena is a Spanish word referring to the night of Christmas Eve[1] and celebrated on December 24 every year.[2] For Latin American cultures, it is often the biggest feast for the Christmas season and is the annual Spanish tradition. Nochebuena (literally "the Good Night") is the Spanish word for Christmas Eve.[3] In Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines, the evening consists of a traditional family dinner. Roasted pig, or lechón is often the center of Nochebuena for feasts around the world.[4] It is believed that the tradition dates back to the 15th century when Caribbean colonists hunted down pigs and roasted them with a powerful flame.[5]

Julaftonen av Carl Larsson 1904




  • In Spain, Nochebuena includes a dinner with family and friends. It is particularly common to start the meal with a seafood dish, followed by a bowl of hot homemade soup, and lamb or roasted pig. It is also common to have desserts such as turrón.

North America

  • In Cuban and Cuban-Floridian tradition, the pig is sometimes cooked in a Caja China, a large box where an entire pig is placed below hot coals.[7] The dinner features many side dishes and desserts, and often games of dominos are played. The tradition is continued by Cuban families in Florida and the United States.[8]
  • In New Mexico, la Nochebuena is celebrated by lighting luminarias and farolitos.

South America

  • Nochebuena is also celebrated on Christmas Eve with La Sangre de Navidad, and marks the final evening of the Posadas celebrations,[9] in others a dinner is served with the family usually after attended the late Mass known as Misa de Gallo.
  • In Peru, a large, juicy turkey is the star for Noche Buena.[10]
  • In Venezuela, hallacas are normally the staple dish for Noche Buena alongside of either ham or pork leg known as "pernil", panettone, rum and "Ponche Crema" (a form of alcoholic eggnog). The night is usually accompanied by traditional Christmas music known as "aguinaldos;" in Venezuela, the traditional music is known as joropo.[11]

In popular culture

The 2016 Elena of Avalor season one episode, "Navidad", focused on Nochebuena.[12][13] As part of its special "Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure," Dora the Explorer featured a song titled "Nochebuena" regarding the celebration on the musical album for the special.[14]

See also


  1. ^ Ortega, Pedro Ribera, Christmas in old Santa Fe Sunstone Press, 1973
  2. ^ Puerto Rican Christmas Traditions. El Boricua. 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  3. ^ Nochebuena: Most Latinos start celebrating Christmas on December 24 The Denver Post. Roxana Soto. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2014
  4. ^ For some Latino families, Christmas comes a day early The Los Angeles Times. Hector Becerra. 19 December. People really like to celebrate this holiday because it brings families together and allows families to spend quality time together. 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014
  5. ^ Nochebuena: Celebrations Start on Dec 24 in Latin-American Households Latin Post. Nicole Akoukou. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014
  6. ^ Hungry holidays: The Filipino Noche Buena GMA News Online. Cristina Tantenco. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014
  7. ^ Cordle, Ina Paiva, On Nochebuena, many in South Florida will be roasting a pig in a “caja china” The Miami Herald, 23 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013
  8. ^ Families Gather For Traditional "Noche Buena" CBS Miami. 24 December 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014
  9. ^ For some Latino families, Christmas comes a day early The Los Angeles Times. Hector Becerra. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014
  10. ^ Noche Buena Traditions Living in Peru. Diana P. Alano. Retrieved 5 May 2014
  11. ^ [1] Venezuela Folklore and Traditions. Venezuelan Embassy to the United States. Retrieved 25 December 2014
  12. ^ "Watch Elena of Avalor TV Show - Disney Junior on DisneyNOW".
  13. ^ "Navidad". 26 November 2016 – via
  14. ^ "Shazam". Shazam.

Caja (meaning "box" in Spanish) can refer to:

Caja or caixa, a Spanish savings bank similar to a credit union

Caja project, a Google security-project for "virtual iframes"

Caja del Rio, a mesa in New Mexico, USA

Caja vallenata, a drum similar to a tambora

Caja China, see Nochebuena

Caja, the official file manager for the MATE desktop environment

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus. Christmas Day is observed around the world, and Christmas Eve is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day. Together, both days are considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and Western society.

Christmas celebrations in the denominations of Western Christianity have long begun on the night of the 24th, due in part to the Christian liturgical day starting at sunset, a practice inherited from Jewish tradition and based on the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis: "And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day." Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening; for example, the Nordic Lutheran churches. Since tradition holds that Jesus was born at night (based in Luke 2:6-8), Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve, traditionally at midnight, in commemoration of his birth. The idea of Jesus being born at night is reflected in the fact that Christmas Eve is referred to as Heilige Nacht (Holy Night) in German, Nochebuena (the Good Night) in Spanish and similarly in other expressions of Christmas spirituality, such as the song "Silent Night, Holy Night".

Many other varying cultural traditions and experiences are also associated with Christmas Eve around the world, including the gathering of family and friends, the singing of Christmas carols, the illumination and enjoyment of Christmas lights, trees, and other decorations, the wrapping, exchange and opening of gifts, and general preparation for Christmas Day. Legendary Christmas gift-bearing figures including Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christkind, and Saint Nicholas are also often said to depart for their annual journey to deliver presents to children around the world on Christmas Eve, although until the Protestant introduction of Christkind in 16th-century Europe, such figures were said to instead deliver presents on the eve of Saint Nicholas' feast day (6 December).

Christmas in Hawaii

Christmas in Hawaii is a major annual celebration, as in most of the Western world.

Consuelo Moure

Consuelo Moure de Ramírez (1947 – 2 April 2014) was a Colombian actress from Pamplona, Norte de Santander, known for her roles in such films as Nochebuena, Pena máxima, La esquina, Tres hombres y tres mujeres, Es mejor ser rico que pobre, and Champagne.

She ran for the Colombian Senate several times, but was not elected.Moure died on 2 April 2014 in Bogotá from lung cancer, aged 67.

Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce or cranberry jam is a sauce or relish made out of cranberries, commonly served as a condiment with Thanksgiving dinner in North America and Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom and Canada. There are differences in flavor depending on the geography of where the sauce is made: in Europe it is generally slightly sour-tasting, while in North America it is typically more heavily sweetened.

Federal Telecommunications Institute

The Federal Telecommunications Institute (abbreviated as IFT and incorrectly referred to as IFETEL) is an independent government agency of Mexico charged with the regulation of telecommunications and broadcasting services. It was formed on September 10, 2013, as part of larger reforms to Mexican telecom regulations, and replaced the Federal Telecommunications Commission (Cofetel).

The current President of the IFT is Gabriel Oswaldo Contreras Saldívar.

Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon

Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon is a concept typical of Mexican culture. It began in the decade of the 1990s and informally refers to the vacational period from December 12 (Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe) to January 6 (Day of the Three Wise Men or "Tres Reyes Magos"). During this period there are several holidays which, linked together, create a "marathon" of festivities. During this period, the challenge is not only to attend the festivities but to at least drink any type of alcoholic beverage every day. This Marathon is not part of the Mexican Folklore; it is merely a pop-culture activity.

The celebrations linked together by the Guadalupe-Reyes Marathon are:

December 12: Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Every evening from December 16 to December 24: The nine Posadas parties.

December 24: Last posada and Christmas Eve (Nochebuena).

December 25: Christmas

December 28: Holy Innocent's day, akin to April Fool’s Day, which in Mexico is remembered playing practical jokes.

December 31: New Year's Eve

January 1: New Year's Day

January 6: Day of the Three Wise Men ("Reyes Magos")

The last celebration of the season is Day of Candelaria on February 2. In Mexico, this festivity is linked to the feast of the Magi on January 6 by the traditional rosca de reyes. It is also common to celebrate consuming the traditional atole and tamales. However, being almost a month away from all the celebrations that happen in late December and early January, it is excluded from the "Marathon". Common celebrations include consuming alcoholic beverages daily leading up to a mass celebration on the last day of the festival.The name of the marathon (Guadalupe Reyes) has also been used in advertising. Certain comedy shows sometimes feature the fictional character of "Guadalupe Reyes", a proper Mexican name which can belong either to a male or a female.

Luminaria (vigil fire)

A luminaria (rarely vigil fire) is a traditional small bonfire typically used during Las Posadas, a 9-day celebration culminating on Christmas Eve (la Nochebuena). The luminaria is widely used in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Luminaria is a loanword from Spanish that entered English in New Mexico.


Mikulás (or Szent Miklós) is the Hungarian version of Saint Nicholas, and a similar figure to Santa Claus. In many cities, Mikulás is getting more conflated with Santa Claus. Still, it is believed that Mikulás arrives to celebrate his day, December 6, and leaves before Christmas. This tradition is also well known in Romania (Moș Nicolae), Slovenia (Miklavž), the Czech Republic, Slovakia (both Mikuláš), Croatia (Sv. Nikola) and Poland (Mikołaj).

Music of Extremadura

Extremadura is a region in Spain near Portugal. Its folk music can be characterized by a melancholy sound, and Portuguese influences, as well as the predominance of the zambomba drum (similar to Brazilian cuica), which is played by pulling on a rope which is inside the drum. There is also a rich repertoire of gaita (local name for a tabor pipe) music. Popular songs include: de ronda; de bodas; de quintos; de Nochebuena. Jota is also common, here played with triangles, castanets, guitars, tambourines, accordions and zambombas.

There are few ethnomusicological recordings of Extremaduran music, with the most influential and well-known being by American researcher Alan Lomax. Lomax went to Spain in 1952-3 to avoid persecution as a Communist and found some hostility from Spanish researchers, then in a period of great political upheaval. Lomax and his assistant, Jeanette Bell, did much of their recording in secret. A research centre for Spanish folk music existed in Extremadura before the Civil War, but details of its collection appear to have been lost.Extremadura has long been one of the poorest regions in the country. As a result, many of its people left to Latin America during the colonial era (1492-1820s), leaving a mark on Latin music.

Traditional Extremaduran dances include:

El baile de la pata

El perantón

El pindongo

El son brincao

El son llano

La Zajarrona

Music of Guam

The music of Guam encompasses the works of many Chamorro popular musicians, including KACY, Flora Baza Quan, Daniel De Leon Guerrero, singer-songwriter J. D. Crutch, who is on the local Napu Records and who released a best-selling local album with Guinaifen Manglo. The state song of Guam is "Guam Hymn" by Ramon Sablan, adopted in 1919.[1] Flora Baza Quan is especially notable throughout the territory, and is known as the "Queen of Chamorro Music".[2]Modern music from Guam includes elements of American, Spanish, Filipino and Polynesian music. The Spanish and Mexicans contributed a type of song called serenatas to the culture of Guam. Some traditional Catholic songs in the Spanish language, including "Mil Albricias", "Pastores a Belen", "Santa Maria de la Merced" or "Nochebuena Noche Santa" and some traditional love songs including "A mi morena", "Ay que triste desventura", "Cancion de Antonio Acosta" or "Te quiero amar" are preserved.

Nativity of Jesus in later culture

The birth of Jesus has been depicted since early Christianity, and continues to be interpreted in modern artistic forms. Some of the artforms that have described His Nativity include drama (including television and films) and music (including opera).


Navidad may refer to:

Nochebuena or Navidad, Christmas Eve in Spanish


Olentzero (Basque pronunciation: [olents̻eɾo], sometimes Olentzaro or Olantzaro) is a character in Basque Christmas tradition. According to Basque traditions Olentzero comes to town late at night on the 24th of December to drop off presents for children. In some places he arrives later, for example in Ochagavía – Otsagabia on the 27th and in Ermua on the 31st.

Parque Hundido

Parque Hundido (official name is Parque Luis G. Urbina) is an urban park located in Benito Juárez, Mexico City. Its sunken landscape makes it an ideal noise-isolated spot for relaxation.

Its site was occupied by the brick-making company Ladrillera Nochebuena from the mid 19th century until the beginning of Porfiriato, when the brick company moved away and the site became an empty depression. By 1910, several species of trees were planted, creating the Nochebuena forest (Bosque de la Nochebuena). The area has been populated since late 18th century. However, the area was a collection of small towns and was, at that time, far away from Mexico City itself.

In the late 1930s, having paved and widened Avenida de los Insurgentes, the city government decided to use the beautiful setting of the forest to create a new park. Its layout comprised gardens, walkways, a dual jai-alai/fronton court, and fountains for visitors to enjoy. In the late 1940s, when modern urbanization began around the park, it became known as the "Chinese Park", since its landscaping evoked Chinese gardens, but this changed in 1972, when several reproductions of archaeological pieces were placed in various parts of the park, though the layout was barely modified. Six walking routes were traced: the highlands, the Zapotec, Mayan, Olmec, Totonac, and Huastec, with artistic reproductions of precolombian stone work; each route was marked with a distinctively colored line on the floor. Today, these routes are used by runners and joggers.

The main attraction is a floral clock, created by a prestigious watchmaker Relojes Centenario. It is located at the center of the park, near a flag pole (the highest point in the park) and at the end of a wide staircase that leads to Avenida de los Insurgentes via a small plaza named Plaza Dolores del Río, a tribute to one of the great divas of Hollywood and the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

There is also an audiorama for up to 141 people, surrounded by lush vegetation, suitable for listening to classical music and poetry. It sometimes hosts events such as conferences, bingo games, some small-scale plays, workshops or jazz festivals. A special area is reserved for off-leash dogs. A chess area and some concrete seating structures are also found in the park. In recent years, the children´s playground was upgraded, EcoBici stations were added, a bike track was added and a restrooms were added. The park is home to a large number of birds, squirrels and lizards. There are also a large number of cats which are fed and kept inside the park.

The corner of Insurgentes Avenue and Porfirio Díaz, which is also part of the park, has been a busy rush-hour crossing since the Mexico City Metrobus opened in 2006, and includes a fountain and a statue of Vicente Guerrero on a horse; this corner has, since the 1970s, been a meeting point for weekly Sunday bike rides. The AC Bicycletero Movement meets under the statue of the hero of Independence of Mexico, and under the name of Biciperros still perform Sunday walks that are free to all.

Public holidays in Mexico

In Mexico there are three major kinds of public holidays:

Statutory holiday: Holidays observed nationwide. Employees are entitled to a day off with regular pay and schools (public and private) are closed.

Civic holiday: These holidays are observed nationwide, but employees are not entitled to a day off with pay.

Festivities: These are traditional holidays to honor religious events, such as Carnival, Holy Week, Easter, etc. or public celebrations, such as Mother's day, Father's day, Valentine's Day, etc.Dia DE la Independence or Anniversary DE la Independence, September 16, commemorates Mexico's independence from Spain and is the most important patriotic statutory holiday. Parades are held and many schools are closed.

Public holidays in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico celebrates all official U.S holidays, and a number of other official holidays established by the Commonwealth government.

Additionally, many municipalities celebrate their own Patron Saint Festivals (fiestas patronales in Spanish), as well as festivals honoring cultural icons like Bomba y plena, danza, salsa, hamacas (hammocks), and popular crops such as plantains and coffee.

Until June 30, 2014, there were 19 public holidays in Puerto Rico. As a result of a new Commonwealth law, after July 1, 2014, the Commonwealth government consolidated three of its former holidays (Luis Muñoz Rivera, José Celso Barbosa, and Luis Muñoz Marín) into just one called Día de los Próceres Puertorriqueños (The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans), and reducing the number of holidays observed publicly to 17. As part of the new law, the third Monday of February became Día de los Próceres Puertorriqueños when, in addition to commemorating the birth of those three illustrious Puerto Ricans will also include commemorating the birthdays of four other illustrious Puerto Ricans – Ramón Emeterio Betances, Román Baldorioty de Castro, Ernesto Ramos Antonini and Luis A. Ferré. The law mandated that the Eugenio Maria de Hostos holiday and the Jose de Diego holiday would continue to be observed on their respective days as usual.


A spanbaum ("wood shaving tree"), variously referred to in English as a hand-shaved tree, wood chip tree or span tree, is a handmade ornamental tree which is usually part of a pyramid ornament. They are mainly manufactured in woodturning workshops in the Ore Mountains of Saxony in eastern Germany. Their method of production is known locally as Spanbaumstechen.

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