Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are arguably the most memorable days for many people, as it is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, even if it is just for a short amount of time. Christmas in El Salvador is a holiday full of customs and traditions; these festivities seem incomplete without some of these activities mentioned below.
So, how is Christmas celebrated in El Salvador? Below you can find a quick rundown of some of the traditions that cannot be missed in the homes of most Salvadorans:
1- El Estreno (New clothes)
Finding a new outfit is a must for the holiday season. A few days before the celebrations start, it is common for people to purchase new clothes to make their holiday outfit special. Many people wear these clothes to go to work or wear them during the first days of the school year in January.
2. Food, Food, and More Food
Along with music and dancing, one thing you can’t miss at Christmas time in El Salvador is good food. Tamales, turkey, chicken bread, stuffed pork loin, and many other dishes are some of the highlights of the Salvadoran Christmas table.
Fireworks have been a part of Salvadoran Christmas traditions for decades- even small fireworks make a unique Christmas Eve. It should always be, of course, with adult supervision.
4- Es hora de los abrazos (Time for hugs)
When the clock strikes midnight, many look for their family, neighbors, friends, even pets to give them a big, comforting hug and celebrate the official arrival of Christmas.
5-La playa (The beach)
Salvadorans celebrate Christmas on December 24th at midnight. Therefore, going to the beach on Christmas Day is a popular tradition for Salvadorans to continue the Christmas festivities.
6-El recalentado (The reheating)
Some people wake up tired from cooking, dancing, or singing the day before, so on Christmas Day, there is nothing more cheerful than reheating the leftovers from Christmas Eve.
If you want to try Salvadorian Panes con Pollo (chicken breads), here is a quick recipe:
Two bay leaves
1 Green Pepper
Five large tomatoes
1 Head of garlic
1- Fry the chicken
With a bit of olive oil, mayonnaise, and pepper, fry the chicken until lightly golden brown.
2-Make the sauce
While the chicken is frying, you can make the sauce by blending the five tomatoes, cloves to taste, a clove of garlic, onion, green chili, and 1 to 2 cups of water in a blender.
3- Add the sauce
When the chicken is slightly fried, pour the sauce into the pot and let the chicken and the sauce cook on low heat for about 1 hour.
4- Add toppings to the bread
After the chicken and sauce are cooked, it is time to mix the mustard and mayonnaise, then spread this mixture on the bread.
5- Add more ingredients and serve
After spreading the dressing and cooking the chicken, we put the ingredients such as lettuce, radish, carrot, a hard-boiled egg cut in half (if desired), and the chicken. Then add the sauce to taste, and that’s it! you will have a Salvadoran Pan relleno.