Merry Christmas Eve!

**Every night for the nine nights before Christmas Colombians celebrate novenas, so I will be writing a blog post every day about Colombian Christmas traditions. Feliz Navidad!**

Photo Courtesy of Dariela Cruz http://www.mamitalks.com

Today is the ninth and final day of novenas in Colombia, and it is Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena, when Colombians have their main Christmas celebration. Families gather today to have dinner, usually late at night, and many people also go to Midnight Mass.

The traditional food for Christmas Eve dinner is turkey, along with buñuelos and natilla and sometimes tamales and ajiaco; all typical Colombian Christmas foods. Dinner can be eaten either before or after Midnight Mass, depending on the family.

Presents are traditionally opened at midnight, when El Niño Jesus (Baby Jesus) brings the presents, although some families open presents earlier. Music also usually accompanies the Christmas Eve festivities, usually villancicos – Colombian Christmas carols.

Today is the last day of the novenas, a tradition I think is really nice. Nine days of gathering with family and friends before Christmas is such a lovely way to lead up to Christmas. Tomorrow, Christmas Day, is also usually spent with family, although most of the festivities happen today, on La Nochebuena. So this concludes the nine days of novenas posts – Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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