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Travel Experiences Since 2007

Christmas time in South America is one of the best moments to visit this marvelous continent. When we arrive in the southern hemisphere in December we find the summer season. The hot climate doesn’t stop decorations, which are big here. Christmas lights are found everywhere, and even if the fireplaces are off, socks are hung on them. We can even find snow, obviously fake or painted.  Santa Claus is very famous, different cultures call him with different names like; Viejito Pascuero, San Nicolas, Papai Noel, El Gordo de Navidad. Christmas in Spanish is “Navidad” and in Portuguese is “Natal” both words mean birth. The presence of christianity is really strong, here we can find many religious traditions, but also pagan traditions, being that there are beliefs of many different cultures. The holidays here have similar traits to Europe and North America. The biggest difference is that celebrations take place on the white sands of  beautiful beaches. 

In Argentina it is part of the tradition to eat pork, lamb, and many different sweets like pan dulce. 

Ecuadorians have a rich meal like roasted chicken, farofas with dried fruits, couscous, tamales, humitas, lots of beer, wine and cidra. 

In Brazil it is really popular to eat the Italian panettone, in many new versions, also salted. The consumption of meat in the holidays goes up because barbecues are a tradition with roasted turkey. 

In Colombia the dishes are lechona, which is stuffed pork with rice and beans, ajiaco bogotano, which is ham, turkey or chicken soup, hojuelas, a pastry with sugar and jam, as well as other traditional dishes.

In Peru it is a big tradition to eat baked turkey on the night of the 24th of december. Turkey is native to this country, Aztecs used to raise them 2,000 years ago. They also have peruvian style salads, mashed and baked sweet potatoes, rice with fruits and vegetables, tamales, and panettone. 

In Chile they have asado, chicken soup, roasted turkey, cola de mono, a chilean holiday drink. 

Traditional food in Venezuela are Hallacas, a mixture of different meats with raisins, cappers, and olives wrapped in maize and plantain leaves, boiled or steamed. They also have pan de jamon, a delicious bread filled with jam, raisins, olives and bacon, as well as chicken salad and pork.

The traditional meal in Bolivia is picana, which is a stew soup, salads, roasted pork or beef, and tropical fruits. 

In Uruguay traditional meals are finger food, roasted meats, a variety of salads, fruits, and pan dulce. 

In Guyana the tradition is to eat pepperpot, garlic pork, fruit cake, black cake and ginger beer.

Suriname’s traditional foods include a baked dish called pom, fried chicken, cabbage,  fried coconut shrimp and deviled eggs.

In Paraguay the tradition is to eat asado, pineapples, papaya, hard sweet candies and dulce de leite. 

In French Guiana they usually have pack pudding, traditional ham, pork stew, rice with red beans, christmas cake and green papaya cake. 

In Aruba the tradition is baked ham, ayaca, rice with chicken, stuffed turkey, egg salad, different soups, pistachio cake and dark fruit cake.

Falkland Islands dinner consists mainly of lamb.

In Curaçao the tradition is to have ham, salted, dried salmon, christmas cake, flan and ponche crema.

The tradition in Trinidad is to have sorrel, pastelles, ham, turkey, homemade bread, ginger beer, apples, grapes, ponche de creme and christmas fruitcake.

The best ingredient that all these countries have in common is the energy of their people. These are all vibrant cultures that know how to make the best of any celebration.