Christmas Traditions in Chile
Christmas is a worldwide holiday that is appreciated by all. Some countries consider it more commercial while others celebrate it simple for a way to have fun during the season. A lot of countries are more religiously focused than others and don’t teach their children about Santa Clause, or any of his other aliases, at all. Instead they learn about Saint Nicholas, and depending on the region you also hear of his comrade who goes by the name Black Peter, who seems to be his moral opposite. Christmas in Chile greatly resembles that of the holiday as it’s celebrated in America. Their Santa Clause is called Viejo Pascuero and he looks very much like ours. With his red suit, great white beard, and round belly, Viejo Pascuero is drawn from house to house by his team of loyal reindeer. Because of their warmer temperature the homes in Chile do not come equipped with chimneys as most of them don’t even have fireplaces.
So where does Viejo Pascuero go? How does he get in? Simple really, the jolly bringer of gifts climbs through the window. Like its Latin brethren, the depiction of the manger in which Christ was born is an essential part of the decorations and holds the place of honor in homes. Pieces can be individually carved and handed down from generation to generation, or they can be bought with no less sense of pride and sense of tradition. On Christmas Eve, the people are called on to join the Mass of the rooster, which starts at midnight. Following the church service is a Christmas Eve dinner in which all the family still awake sit down and dig in.