Art and Culture

Dominican holiday traditions #2: Aguinaldos

Aguinaldo en Casa de Campo

This post is also available in: Spanish

Aguinaldo casa de campoHere we bring to you the second article in our series “Dominican holidays traditions”, this time we’re going to teach you all about the festive holiday tradition of “Aguinaldos.”

The Christmas holidays in Dominican Republic are celebrated from the beginning of November, and the lively “Aguinaldos” tradition is one that fills the streets with music and laughter throughout the entire season.

AguinaldoAn “Aguinaldo” is a casual group of people, family or friends who merrily go from house to house, singing and knocking on doors to wake people up and invite them to join this musical celebration.

For all Dominicans this is a tradition that has joyfully been adopted over the years… being woken up to this jolly holiday tradition, everyone happily joins the party to sing along with the “perico ripiao” (a traditional Dominican music genre).

“A las Arandelas” is a famous Dominican song, and is one of the main songs song at the “Aguinaldos” everyone knows all the words and joyfully sings along. “A las Arandelas” means the many circles joined together by the tambourine instrument and is associated with the love for music “a las arandelas de mi corazon” (a las arandelas of my heart) Click here to read the lyrics and listen to “A las Arandelas”.

As well as all the singing and merry making, hot chocolate or ginger tea accompanied by cookies or toasted bread are normally enjoyed during the “Aguinaldos”… the perfect snack on the chilly winter nights! [Remember that although it doesn’t really get “chilly” in the Dominican Republic, because it is warm all year round, the slight drop in temperature in the winter months can feel rather cold to Dominicans. At this time of year, don’t be surprised to see people wrapped up in coats and hats!]

Singing, dancing and cheerfully spending a great time together, that’s what “Aguinaldos” are all about… so be ready to be woken up!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!

Click here to view last year’s “parranda navideña” – an “Aguinaldo” that took place in Casa de Campo.

This is the second article in our series “Dominican holiday traditions”, click on the link below to read article #1:

Dominican Traditions #1: Angelitos

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