Updated: Feb 17
By: Rafael Nuñez.
Christmas and New Year in Latin America are one of the most important holidays of the year, Latinos are very family-oriented and these days they have strong feelings of happiness, sadness, and longing; These parties are celebrated with family and friends.
On New Year's Eve, Latin Americans wait for midnight together with their relatives, the announcement of the New Year is carried in many ways: the twelve bells of a church, the whistle of a ship or a factory, also through a radio program. People perform some rituals or traditions such as eating twelve grapes and making a wish for each one, wearing yellow underwear for good luck next year, or taking a suitcase and leaving the house to travel a lot. All these beliefs are made with fun and joy from everyone.
In this article, you’ll learn the most used words and sentences in Spanish during this season.
Navidad - Christmas. While some Latin American countries await the beginning of Christmas celebrations on December 24, others make preparations to welcome this time almost two weeks earlier than usual.
Papá Noel/San Nicolás - Santa Claus.
Pesebre/Nacimiento - Nativity. In many homes in Latin America beautiful designs and decorations of Jesus’ birthday are made.
Estrella de Navidad - Christmas start. It is commonly used to decorate nativities and Christmas trees.
Árbol de Navidad - Christmas tree.
Guirnaldas - Wreath.
Calcetines de navidad - Christmas stocking.
Villancicos - Christmas carols. It is a tradition to listen to popular Christmas during this season.
Muñeco de nieve - Snowman.
Renos - reindeer.
Trineos - sleds.
Bolas de navidad - Christmas balls. They are used to decorate the Christmas tree and also known in some countries as bambalinas or esferas de navidad.
Cajas de regalos - Gift boxes. Gift swaps (intercambio de regalos) are very popular in Latin America as in the USA.
Now, let’s learn some basic vocabulary used to greet during this time of the year:
¡Que tengas unas felices fiestas! - Have a Happy holidays!
¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo! - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
¡Que tengas un nuevo año lleno de felicidad! - Have a New Year full of happiness!
¡Te deseo lo mejor para esta Navidad y Año Nuevo! - I wish you all the best for Christmas and New Year!
¡Que tengas unas fiestas llenas de amor y felicidad! - Have a holiday full of love and happiness!
¡Felices fiestas llenas de alegría! - Happy holidays full of joy!
¡En estas fiestas te deseo paz y prosperidad! - I wish you peace and Prosperity in this holidays!
Regardless of the language, the most important thing is to wish them with sincerity and love.
¡Feliz Navidad y próspero año nuevo para todos!