Last night was Christmas Eve. Jana and I were expecting a quiet evening with our host family, maybe a candlelight service at a local church, an opening of presents at midnight. I don’t think we could have been more wrong.
The tradition here seems to be entirely different than the ‘Silent Night’ we grew up with in the US. Here Christmas eve is referred to as ‘Noche Buena’, and is a time for celebration.
We had already been warned about people lighting fireworks, so it didn’t surprise us that people were lighting them off all week. However, that didn’t prepare us for last night. At midnight it seemed that the entire town came outside and lit off fireworks. There was everything from simple sparklers and fountains, to large bombs the size of your forearm. I don’t remember ever seeing that many fireworks at any fourth of July party.
As the fireworks were going off, everyone came out to say Merry Christmas to their neighbors. We really enjoyed being able to wish everyone in the neighborhood a merry Christmas, and to do it while wearing shorts was even better!