Hispanic holidays are known worldwide for their variety and cultural richness. The customs of each region enrich these celebrations.
Some have been declared intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
All this motivates many people to visit the countries where they are held to enjoy these unique experiences.
These are the most popular ones that are worth knowing.
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In many Latin American countries, female teenagers look forward to their 15th birthday. It has become a custom to throw a party to honor the quinceañeras.
The celebration celebrates the birthday and the transition from girl to woman. Quinceañeras usually wear a long gala dress and high heels.
The central event is the entrance waltz with her father, who symbolizes the first man in her life.
This is a tradition inspired by the debutante balls of the 19th century, in which 14 to 16-year-old girls from the upper classes were officially presented in society.
In addition to the dress and shoes, the ballroom and decoration are critical details, as well as the toast and the cake.
Quinceñeras is the most relevant celebration after weddings.
Day of the Dead
This holiday honors deceased family members with a colorful and joyful celebration. The streets are filled with orange and fuchsia flowers, while the floral aroma permeates the air.
Streets and houses have a mixed smell with the smell of “pan de muerto” and “catrinas,” sugary candies in the shape of skulls sold in the stores.
According to tradition, the souls of the departed return to visit their families on this day. During the visit, the deceased will taste their favorite drinks and foods.
For this reason, Mexicans wait for them with everything they used to like.
In their homes, they build beautiful altars where they place photos, light candles, and leave them chocolates, candies, tamales, and tequila.
They also go to the cemeteries to leave flowers, food, and toys as an offering. Since 2016, the center of Mexico City held a parade every year.
People attired as skeletons dressed in elegant and formal Mexican costumes. Children usually ask for candy or “calaveritas”.
Las Mañanitas is undoubtedly one of the most frequently played Mexican songs at Hispanic birthday parties, even beyond the country’s borders.
Many famous artists have interpreted it to celebrate life anniversaries, Mother’s Day, and even the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The origin of this melody is unknown. This musical style is believed to come from the Sephardic Jews of medieval Spain.
They mixed an Israelite genre with Spanish lyrical compositions and a similar rhythm in ancient Rome.
The European colonizers would take this fusion of Roman, Jewish, and Spanish music to Mexico in the 19th century.
This country was the one that gave it the name “Las Mañanitas” and the lyrics that are known today. Before that, there were other versions of this kind of corrido.
In many Latin American countries, the custom of singing it on someone’s birthday remains.
Different countries in the region celebrate this tradition, but Brazil’s Carnival is the most famous of all.
Thousands of people take the streets yearly to enjoy the event in Rio de Janeiro, where sumptuous parades are held.
Samba schools compete in the sambadrome with their troupes, floats, and choreographies that attract tourists.
These Hispanic holidays before Lent have great cultural significance.
In Colombia, Paraguay, Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia, local manifestations are linked to Carnival.
They bring musicians and dancers together in scenes that joyfully fill the spectators.
The event lasts a week and culminates with a parade in which hundreds of flower growers from that region participate.
These people, nicknamed silleteros, carry majestic floral arrangements on their backs, which take up to four months to prepare.
They are composed of different species cultivated in Antioquia. The objective is to show the beauty and values of the people of Antioquia.
Pan American Day
This annual celebration takes place on April 14 and commemorates the union between the continent’s countries.
It is relevant because it symbolizes respect, peace, and solidarity among brotherly peoples. It also promotes equality and diversity of cultures, languages, ethnicities, and religions.
This day has been celebrated since 1931 in honor of the creation of the Union of American Republics in 1890. Today, it is known as the Organization of American States (OAS).
The Pan American Day is a national holiday in countries such as Honduras, Haiti, and Guatemala.
The Inti Raymi, called in Quechua language, is a yearly fest in Peru.
The Incas practiced it thanks to the sun for the harvests obtained and to mark the beginning of the new agricultural year.
Nowadays, it consists of a theatrical representation of ancient tradition. It was customary for the Inca leader to sacrifice animals to venerate the sun.
That is no longer allowed, but a simulation may happen.
These Hispanic holidays are a sample of the different ways in which social groups manifest themselves.
Thanks to them, we can preserve customs and remember our origins.