Celebrating family and veterans with Aguinaldos and Christmas cheer!

by | Dec 15, 2021

This past weekend we hosted family and friends to a traditional Parranda at our home as a warmup to the Puerto Rican veterans event we mentioned last week.

The parranda was epic!  We sang (or better yet yelled) along with Grupo Mapeyé and Eduardo y Yesenia as they sang Aguinaldos and traditional songs from Puerto Rico.  These are premiere artists from Puerto Rico.

True to our ethnic roots, our family celebrates Christmas from the beginning of December until little Christmas, or Three Kings Day (Tres Reyes) to celebrate the epiphany, or the birth of Jesus Christ.  The epiphany is a huge event for the majority of Latinos and definitely for my family.

There were three memorable highlights from this weekend’s Parranda:

1- Food (of course!)

During the Christmas season our family gathers every weekend to celebrate family and our gratitude with delicious traditional food from Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic including Arroz con GandulesPernilMangúChofánPasteles.  Obviously, there is no room for dieting during the holidays at our home!

But the desserts are the highlight…MajareteTembleque de cocoArroz con dulceCoquitoFlan de leche, and so much more!   Those who know…know!

2- Veterans

Our family and friends came from all over to honor veterans.  The gratitude was tangible as we honored veterans from the Vietnam era who joined us, veterans from the war on terror and remembered veterans who are no longer with us, including my grandfather, his brother and so many others we know.

3- Aguinaldos!

Grupo Mapeyé and Eduardo y Yesenia entertained us with Aguinaldos and traditional songs from Puerto Rico.  Traditionally, an Aguinaldo is a type of gift offered during the holiday season celebrating the Epiphany.  An aguinaldo is also used to describe a song genre which we also call a decimilla, which comes from the décima, an ancient poetic form from Spain.  The decimilla consists of ten lines of six syllables each, in contrast to the décima’s ten lines of eight syllables. The decimilla serves as the lyrical structure for aguinaldos.

Check out Yesenia Cruz singing an Aguinaldo accompanied by Grupo Mapeyé, Puerto Rico’s national folkloric group.

To learn more about Aguinaldos, Décimas and traditional Puerto Rican music, please visit the Puerto Rican Cuatro project.

#Faith • #Family • #Grit /

#Fe • #Familia • #Fuerza