Traditional Christmas Greeting: "Felize Navidad"
Location: Central America
Tree Type: Cultural

Decorations:

  • Wooden boxes
  • Pictures of Guatemalan children

Traditions: Throughout the Christmas season several religious statues are taken for an elaborate procession. At the rear of the parade is an image representing God. This white-bearded man may also resemble a department store Santa Claus. Marimbas and chirimias accompany the procession.

From December 16th through December 24th in the evening a procession commemorating Joseph and Mary's search for lodgings is held (posada). The members of the procession go to nine houses seeking shelter. For eight nights the posada ends at the last house in front of an empty crèche (nacimiento) and a small party is held for the members of the procession. On the ninth night, Christmas Eve, the figure of the Christ Child is added to the crèche. At the end of the evening a fiesta is held. Children receive gifts not from Santa but from The Christ Child. Adults exchange gifts on New Years Day. Christmas Eve festivities end at midnight with the Mass of the Rooster (Misa de Gallo). After midnight mass a large supper is served. The Christmas tree has become popular because of the large German population that settled in Guatemala since W.W. II