Top Things to Do in Colombia This Christmas
If you’ve been to Colombia in December, you’ll know one thing for certain — it’s that Colombians sure know how to make the most out of the festive celebrations.
You’ll see all sorts of traditional Colombian Christmas food, such as buñuelos, natilla, and hojuelas. The streets will also be adorned with decorations such as Christmas trees, fairy lights, Santa Claus standees, or even candles!
Everything you need to have yourself a Merry Christmas, Colombia has got it covered. But for you to make the most out of Christmas in Colombia, it’s best to celebrate it in true Colombian style.
El Alumbrado or the Christmas Lights Festival is perhaps one of the most popular tourist attractions in Colombia.
This tradition dates back to 1955, and it has grown into one of the most anticipated holiday light exhibitions in the world. Since then, Colombian Christmas decorations have never been dull. When the Christmas season rolls in, they go all out on their light displays.
Millions of LED lights hang around a particular storyline, such as the nativity scene, or elaborate themes, such as the gingerbread house. They are often found along the river banks of the streets. Because it takes a while to hang the lights, they’re prepared early, sometime in late October or early November.
Medellin is the best place to be when it comes to these Christmas displays. The lights can go from Parque del Río along the Medellín River to the top of Cerro Nutibara — which is a total of three kilometers.
You can also see other light displays in Parque Norte, Envigado, Sabaneta, El Centro, Parque Poblado, Itagüe and Nutibara Hill.
It is customary for parties to have aguinaldo as a way to celebrate end-of-year festivities. Aguinaldo consists of playing games with prizes that are held especially for Christmas.
One game that you’ll surely have fun playing with your partner is Beso Robado or stolen kiss. This is done by basically stealing a kiss from your partner during the Novena. There are different variations of rules for this game. Ultimately, the winner is determined by whoever manages to steal the most amount of kisses.
Another common aguinaldo is hiding the baby Jesus. The baby Jesus figure in every El Pesbre (or nativity scene) is taken someplace and everyone is tasked with finding it. People hide it in flower pots, sound equipment, and even behind a painting! The search can last the whole day, but people still find it exciting, especially when they win the prizes.
Día de la Inocencia
The Holiday Season doesn’t end on Christmas Day — there’s still Día de la Inocencia, or Day of the Innocents, that most Colombians look forward to celebrating.
Día de la Inocencia is celebrated much like April Fools Day in North America: people pull pranks, make jokes, and all around have a good time together. You’ll also be seeing a lot of lighthearted humor spread across different media, or maybe even epic fails being broadcasted on TV.
This celebration has a distinct history that’s completely opposite to the current meaning of the event. It all ties down to a story in the bible, where children under two years old were wiped out in hopes of eliminating the child Jesus. For this reason, the church had decided to commemorate this event in remembrance of these innocent children.
Now, Colombians celebrate Día de la Inocencia to keep their festive spirits alive right before the New Year preparations. And it effectively does so — if the number of people participating on this day is any indication
Spending Your Christmas with a Colombiana
There are multitudes of reasons for you to go out and explore the wonders of Colombia. You have places to be, sights to see, and people to be with — don’t deprive yourself of a great time when it’s handed over to you on a silver platter.
The cherry on top is that you’ll get to spend it with your most important person. To have a Latina girlfriend is one of the best gifts, Christmas or not, that life will ever give you. So cherish it. You’re not going to find anyone like her.