5 December traditions of Coffee Culture


In Colombia there are December traditions shared by all the municipalities, however, each region does it in its own way, because of its particular history. The coffee region is rich in multicultural elements that together with its surroundings have adapted and originated a very unique identity. Here we present some of those that we consider important in Coffee Culture at the end of the year.

Celebration 31 days a month

Everything starts from the night of November 30; the people in the park have fun in a open-air dance with canelazo (cinnamon and panela-based beverage made in a bonfire built in the place), natilla and buñuelos are distributed, typical dances are shown and competitions are held: the one who eats the most, the man in high heels (men's race in heels), etc.

Celebration is synonymous with December, every day from six in the evening the lights are turned on and the popular music of December resounds in every corner. This is a very typical tradition of the Colombian coffee towns throughout the year, however, in December the culture of celebration and bustle excels.

Picture taken by @Laumariposa in Buenavista Q.

Day or night of candles

December 7 and 8, 6:00 pm; families begin to put candles and lanterns on the facades and streets of their town. Several speakers turn on December along the streets and with typical food: buñuelos, natilla, tamales, sausages, etc; the night is welcomed.

This is a tradition of religious origin in which the conception of the Virgin Mary is received with the light of a candle; later decorative elements such as lights, fireworks and lanterns were added to it. Today it is one of the strongest traditions that has a great tourist attraction.

Picture taken by @Laumariposa in Nuevo Horizonte I, neighborhood of Buenavista Q.

Block decorations

With the melody of the Hispanos, Pastor López and the Hernández brothers the people get ready to beautify the block. The street surfaces are painted with Christmas decorations: mangers, bells, Christmas trees. From pole to pole, garlands made of colored plastic, lights, decorated tree branches (dry coffee trunk), Christmas balls, bows, etc., decorate the streets of the coffee town.

This tradition of decorating December with multicultural elements is alive and colorful as the Coffee Culture itself.

Picture taken by Ana for Coffee Experience ®

Picture taken by @Laumariposa

Novena of aguinaldos

Nine days before the birth of Jesus Christ, the highly religious coffee community begins the countdown to celebrate Christmas.

This tradition also belongs to the Catholic religion and in Colombia it is lived every December in the coffee towns, the great neighborhood gatherings are held every day from the 16th to the 24th of December to pray, sing Christmas carols and share typical food made together by the ladies of the block, here the traditional natilla and buñuelos made of corn, have importance along with the children who enjoy in chorus the chants of the carols in several novenas during the day.

The old year

At 12:01 on the morning of the first of January to the sound of Happy New Year! A doll made with old clothes, paper, sawdust and fireworks starts burning. This symbolic tradition represents the beginning of something new and leaving behind the old things and the past, it is one of the most eccentric December traditions of Latin America. The Old Year is a handmade doll made by coffee families and exhibited on the house's facade throughout the month, until midnight on December 31, which is burned.

In some regions there are competitions and parades to encourage creativity and maintain the tradition and ties among the people.

Picture taken by @Laumariposa

As in most places in the world, December, without a doubt, is a time of bonds, friendship, family and new purposes; However, in December Coffee Culture tastes differently: the volume is always higher, the eyes are stimulated by so much color and brightness, the hands of a lady will always give you a succulent typical dish, and someone will be aware of a good song to dance. The coffee region awaits you to make you live on your trip, a very special December.

Written by: @LauMariposa