Christmas and New Years in Honduras

was surprised to find a Christmas Tree in the Copan's central park.  As far as I can remember, there were no Christmas trees in Bethlehem; and Santa was a Greek bishop in Turkey, (back then, Anatolia)  who never wore a red jumpsuit.    

Nevertheless, both symbols are popular here. Living under the shadow of the US, the children are influenced by our television shows, and demand  from their parents  both Santa Claus and Christmas trees.   And, of course, the bottom line,  Christmas gifts. 

Here, Christmas Eve is the big day, or I should say big night, for celebration.  For weeks before hand, everybody is buying fireworks from the back of pickups, everything from sparklers to rocket bombs.   At sunset, the show starts with an explosion here and rocket there.  If you wander outside, as I did,  watch out for the low-flying missiles racing by  fast and furiously, across street and park.  Slowly it builds, leading to the great crescendo at midnight.  At the stroke of twelve, everybody lets loose with all they have in a great show of shock and awe. And so the birth of Jesus is welcomed.

Midnight is also the time for 'una buena fiesta', a good party with family and friends, much food, music, gifts and celebration, late into the night.   
The following day, Hondurans do not sleep late. They are up no later than 9:00 AM to attend church.  Afterwards, it's on to visit friends and family.

New Year's  Eve is exactly the same, and similar to the US celebration. Bangs and pops, here and there, leading up to a great, general explosion at midnight and the welcoming of the New Year.   Feliz Ano Nuevo!!!


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