History Behind Hispanic Christmas Celebration

Emely Claros, Haynes News Writer

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People often ask me, “Why do Hispanics celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve?”

“Why do you guys wait till 12 o’clock to open gifts?”


According to Explore Hispanic Culture, “La Misa de Gallo (Midnight Mass) – This special mass is celebrated at the stroke of midnight and it commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ.”


This explains the reason behind on why Hispanics celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and open gifts at midnight.


Which evens gives me the answer and more understanding of my culture because I myself did not the reason until now. Although not every Hispanic participates in this way of how Hispanics celebrate Christmas. Until learning this, I never understood why many Hispanics celebrate this way. However, there are other Hispanics who keep different traditions.


Elijah Brickhouse, a senior from E.L Haynes, said, “No, my family is Panamanian but we don’t do that. We open gifts on Christmas day and then around six we go to family houses and have dinner.”


Although the purpose Hispanics celebrate Christmas the way they do it feels like not everyone does because my family is only somewhat religious.


Which makes me question if every Hispanic do it for religious reason or just to follow the Hispanic culture of Christmas.


Also, another culture thing Hispanics may do for Christmas is teaching their kids the belief in Santa


Me personally growing up I did not know anything about Santa or was told anything about Santa rather if it was real or fake or even a thing at all. However, I believe the reason behind this is because I grew up with the culture of opening gifts at midnight and saw that was no such thing as Santa or anything just gifts that came from family member that I received.


Elvia Mejia, 12th grader at E.L. Haynes, had a more traditional upbringing. She said, “We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve to celebrate the day Jesus was born.”


Elvia is one of many Hispanics who celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday and cultural tradition. There is a desire to keep traditions for many future generations.


Although it seems that other races instead of Hispanic seem to celebrate the Hispanic Christmas culture. Such as couples of different races


My aunt husband who is African American named Reggie Villatoro had said that “ I may be African American but because my wife is Hispanic I celebrate her Christmas culture and do wish for my kids to follow the culture as well even the regular American culture.


Also, explain how American Christmas culture is more of just waking up on December 25th and go and open gifts and have family dinners. Although they may be celebrated on December 25th do they still consider it as celebrating the birth of Jesus?

After questioning myself I started to do some research because I wanted to know how everyone else celebrated their Christmas. So I found a website and found out some data on how everyone else Christmas tradition is and their purpose of celebrating Christmas regardless for religious reasons or not.

 Is Christmas a Religious Holiday? A Growing Number of Americans Say No

Said “Four years ago, 59 percent of Americans said they celebrated Christmas as a religious holiday, including 51 percent who said it was primarily religious for them and 7 percent who treated it as both religious and cultural. At the time, 32 percent said they celebrated it primarily as a cultural holiday.”

The results may not cover everyone in America or every different race but it does show how the majority of Americans celebrate Christmas for religious reason. Also, consider Christmas as a more religious holiday and not just a day to open presents.


Which also leads me to ask how do you celebrate your Christmas?








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