Christmas in Honduras

Last week we talked about how Christmas is celebrated in the beautiful Dominican Republic. However, that’s not the only country where Caritas Smile is present! Thus, now we’ll get to learn a bit about Honduras and the Christmas traditions you can enjoy in this Central American country.

Family Time

Christmas is one of the most important holidays in Honduras due to its connections with traditions and family. This means that people will often travel to their hometown to spend time with family. This also means that Christmas dinner usually starts being planned by the beginning of the month in order to have everything ready.

Church Celebration

Just as the rest of Latin America, Honduras has a strong Catholic influence despite a host of Evangelical churches in the region. This is why a large part of Hondurans traditionally spend some time during Christmas Eve at mass. Moreover, this also means that it’s costumery for people to place a nativity scene under the Christmas tree in addition to the ones placed at church, and, sometimes, work.

¡El estreno!

This is an old tradition that hasn’t been forgotten even if it’s not as popular as it once used to be. Whenever possible, people try to use a new outfit or clothing item for Christmas Eve. It’s believed that this will bring the family good luck and fortune during the coming year, so it can be interchanged and done during New Year’s Eve.

Christmas dinner

Traditionally, people will prepare pork rather than turkey, but families with less economic resources will probably roast a chicken instead. Tamales are also regularly on the menu as rosquillas en miel or torrejas. Rosquillas en miel are small corn doughnuts with a hard crust and soaked in honey whereas torrejas are fried bread (pancito) soaked in honey or, less traditionally, in a tres leches soak. A traditional drink for this time of the year is rompopo, a drink similar to eggnog and which hails to the time of the conquista.

The cuchumbos

Also known as secret friends. It’s a tradition very similar to secret Santa that’s usually carried out among friends or co-workers. This tradition continues being carried on because it’s based on the belief that it both reinforces the ties between people and it helps with the personal economy as you only need to buy gifts for one person instead of a small group.

Fireworks

Even though it’s against the law to sell them in many municipalities due to the inherent danger, fireworks continue being a prevalent tradition in Honduras. People will go far and wide in order to buy some fireworks to celebrate Christmas with, and they’ll buy them in all different sizes – from small ones like chispitas to the very strong, and dangerous, volcanoes. If you’re walking down the streets of Honduras around midnight in Christmas Eve, it’s a good idea to be careful about any firework shows going on. However, you’ll find that the smell of burnt powder impregnates the air wherever you go,

There probably are many similarities

As you can see, Honduras celebrates a very traditional Christmas that probably is similar to your own. In fact, holiday traditions all over the world carry with them a similar core: that of sharing a special moment with loved ones and trying to bring joy to our communities. Caritas Smile also strives to bring joy to the at-need communities we serve. We try to share some of our blessings to those who need it most. Why don’t you join us in our mission and check out or volunteer programs? Bringing joy to those in need might be the best gift you give to someone else.

Talia Velez is a Growth Impact Officer at Caritas Smile, a non-profit service travel program dedicated to making positive impacts and sustainable changes for women and children in developing countries. Having grown up in Mexico, Talia is keenly aware of the day-to-day issues faced by women and children in countries with more economic vulnerability. Visit our site to learn more about Caritas Smile and join us in our mission to help those in need.

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