As Christmas is fast approaching, EM finds out about different holiday traditions from around the world. Today, we look at how El Salvadorian’s commemorate this important religious occasion.

Alejandra Lopez, originally from El Salvador, will spend her Christmas in the Netherlands with family and friends for the first time in quite a few years. However she says that she will miss the Christmas traditions and atmosphere of her home country, but especially her friends and extended family.

Church at midnight

In El Salvador, a Catholic country, Christmas Eve is a very special time. “All families gather for dinner, which follows the midnight mass, Misa de Gallo, in church. Then youth usually go out to clubs, while elders go to sleep”. And when it comes to food, El Salvador is famous for its turkey – Pavo Navideño Salvadoreño, which is served as the main course on Christmas Eve together with the drink horchata. The Christmas day itself is not much different than in Western world – Christmas tree, presents, and lots of food.

Fireworks and parties

Yet, there is one main modification to the festivities – El Salvador’s sky is light with lots of fireworks on Christmas Eve and the atmosphere is very relaxed. But the celebrations don’t stop there as good moods are kept up through to the New Year.”Young people go the beach, as the temperature is around 22 °C, and there are always parties in the well known beaches to welcome the New Year”.

For students who wish to master the art of cooking large birds and capture the flavours of El Salvador, here is a recipe for Pavo Navideño Salvadoreño. MD