Do we know exactly when Santa Claus began to sneak through Latin American chimneys? From what moment did you begin to decorate a tree to leave all the gifts under it? We tell you how, where and when one of the most special traditions of the year begins around the world.
In the first place, we know that the word ‘Christmas’ derives from the Latin ‘nativitas’ or birth and it is the day that marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
Actually, we do not know for sure when the baby Jesus was born, but if there are many lines of research that agree that this day was decided by the Middle Ages, where a group of Christian church leaders set this date on the 25th December) based on the Gospels of San Mateo and San Lucas with the objective of distancing the faithful from the pagan celebrations.
Thus, the first Christmas celebrated in Latin America approaches that it took place on December 25, 1940 according to historical documents.
This celebration was held on an island named ‘La Hispaniola’ shortly after Europeans discovered the existence of America. Currently, this island forms Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
As we know, when Christopher Columbus saw the American coasts, he began to have problems with the caravel ‘Santa Maria’, which forced him to disembark to save the cargo they were carrying. This caused about 40 men to stay on land and build a fort with the caravel’s wood.
According to the story, this fort was completed on December 25 and was assigned the name of ‘Christmas’, so it is associated with the day that the Spaniards celebrated this religious date for the first time on American soil.
In theory, the first properly American Christmas was known in about 1526 when Fray Pedro de Gante transmitted to King Charles V the idea of introducing Christmas into the process of evangelization of the natives, transforming their customs into Christian rites.
Other changes introduced by Pedro de Gante are in relation to the lyrics of the indigenous cantes and in the blankets and clothes of these, to which he painted themes alluding to Christmas: blankets renewed with celebratory motifs, Christmas costumes, etc.
These customs have varied greatly since colonization. The first traditions were consolidated throughout America and, with the passage of time, each region adapted this tradition in its own way and make individual, both at the time of celebration, as in the culinary theme.
However, if there are common denominators on this day in all parts of the world such as decoration (Christmas lights, figures, Christmas trees, etc.), the exchange of presents or gifts on the occasion of the birth of Jesus, family reunions , etc.
In short, it does not matter where you are that you can enjoy that holiday in all its splendor as each country gives the best of itself during these dates so that everyone has a special year ticket.