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On Thursday, December 14th, numerous kids and their parents came to the Altos de Chavón Regional Museum of Archaeology to be part of a traditional Dominican Aguinaldo around the village. The activity began at 5 pm with a Maracas workshop for our kids where they learned how to make their own using beads and disposable cups and then moved on to painting maracas made out of higüero which the museum had prepared for them.
The kids had a wonderful time during the workshop! They danced, had their faces painted, and received goodie bags filled with sweets. They were able to customize their own maracas, painting them with various colors and patterns which they let dry since they would be used in the aguinaldo around Chavón. The tradition of aguinaldos consists of getting together with friends and singing traditional Dominican Christmas carols from house to house. These are performed to the rhythm of tambora, güira, maracas, and accordion. The groups are greeted with joy by the neighbors who offer them various treats, traditionally ginger tea, hot chocolate, coffee, cookies, bread, etc.
The Aguinaldo started at 7 pm, when most of the maracas were already dry and ready to be used. The Altos de Chavón musicians joined the kids and parents going around the various local businesses singing traditional songs like “Las Arandelas”, “Alegre Vengo”, “De la montaña” bringing them and their clientele some Christmas cheer and in return, they gave the kids delicious treats including brownies, coconut cookies, lemonade, deep fried oreos and pizza. Special thanks to all the local restaurants for their continued support to this beautiful activity for our kids!
As part of the activities, and a special moment for the kids was when they visited Santa in his new tropical home. He was waiting for the kids and sang along with them as well as posed for pictures. This year Altos de Chavón along with Tres Eventos made a beautiful job at decorating Santa’s house, we are sure he loves it here! It was a great family activity, and a wonderful way to continue for one of our country’s Christmas traditions. We hope this turns into an annual activity since Altos de Chavón was brimming with the holiday spirit thanks to all the children running around and singing traditional songs.
View more pictures of the maracas workshop and Aguinaldo in the gallery below, provided by the Altos de Chavón Regional Museum of Archaeology:
Let the Christmas festivities begin! This holiday season Altos de Chavón is the place to celebrate! For a couple of days now we’ve seen men hard at work installing lights to make sure that this is a magical season for all. The traditional Christmas Lighting Ceremony and official inauguration to this merry season is THIS Friday, December 8th, and we thought it would be helpful to bring you the FULL schedule of holiday events coming your way. Continue reading here.