Noche de Velas -- Christmas Begins Tonight


Tonight marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Colombia.

Tomorrow is the Día de la Inmaculada Concepcion -- a Catholic holiday. But both Catholics and non-Catholics alike celebrate this day in Colombia -- placing candles, lanterns and lights all over the front of the house and along the sidewalks. It is known as the Día de Velitas or El Alumbrado.

You could easily celebrate this Colombian holiday no matter where you are in the world.

In our family, we place paper sacks filled with sand and a lighted candle around our front yard. My husband also tells about Angel Gabriel's announcement that María was with child. In Colombia, the entire neighborhood is outside and you can hear music, laughter, and singing. There is also plenty of dancing -- so we also include some of that as well. Here in the States, we are the only ones on the street, but it makes for a fun and meaningful evening with our kids.

Tonight we have invited a Colombian family that just moved to our town over for dinner and velita lighting. We will also use some left over 4th of July pyrotechnics :)

You can see our pictures from last year here:

http://raisingcolombiankids.blogspot.com/2008/12/colombian-christmas-culture-post.html

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