Facts: Traditonal Christmas Greeting: "Felize Navidad" Location: South America Tree Type: Traditional
Decorations: The Museum's Columbian tree is dcorated with lights, baskets of candy, ribbons, fabric dolls and homemade ornaments.
Christmas celebrations in Columbia start in early December with a ceremony in honor of the Virgin Mary. On the evening of December 7th, families light a lot of candles and use them to outline streets, sidewalks, and parks so that entire cities are illuminated. December 8th is a national holiday commemorating the Immaculate Conceptionduring which more candles and prayersare offered to the Virgin Mary. On December 16th, Christmas trees are raised and decorated which starts Novena, which in Columbia involes a nine-day prayer ritual with a rosary in anticipation of Christmas day. While celebrating Christ's birth, groups of families and friends gather each night and pray. Villancicos, Better known as Christmas Carolls, are also sung around the nativity scene that plays a significant part of Columbias Christmas celebrations.Most Columbians attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve before returning home for dinner. The Christmas meal often includes a speacial chicken soup called Ajiaco, homemade breads, fritters, roast port and natilla, a cornbased dessert. Presents are brought by "El Nino Jesus" at the bottom of the children's beds by the next morning, and after a relaxing day spent with family, the Christmas season is finished.