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Celebrating Christmas in Venezuela

Maricira Marcano from Venezuela

A pecebre (manger) in Venezuela
Photo: Jesus Molina
There is also a special tradition of decorating with a Pecebre, or manger. The most important part of the Pecebre is the baby Jesus with his mother and father. We put the baby in the Pecebre at 12:00 midnight

In Venezuela, we celebrate Christmas on December 24th. Our tradition is to eat typical dishes such as hallaca and tamales. Hallaca is a delicious food that is made of flour, beef, or chicken, and it looks like a Mexican tamale.

Another dish is turkey with some kind of salad with cold vegetables, chicken, green herbs or fruits. Our desserts are delicious. We have different kinds such as black cake, sweet papaya, and sweet milk.

We decorate the house with lights, both inside and outside. There is also a special tradition of decorating with a Pecebre, or manger, which is like a small farm with some animals like cows and sheep. The most important part of the Pecebre is the baby Jesus with his mother and father. We put the baby in the Pecebre at 12:00 midnight, and some families sing and pray for the baby. After that, we drink wine and open our gifts.

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