Christmas in Ecuador – What do we do?

The big difference between Christmas in Ecuador and Christmas in Northern Europe and the US is the absence of must-do-things.

Here on latitude zero, we mustn’t bake a lot of cookies for Christmas or have a Christmas tree,  We mustn´t have snow either.

The latter is important. In Ecuador there are only peaks higher than 5000 meters which actually have snow. With a North Americans expectations of a white Christmas, it requires some restructuring. So how do we celebrate Christmas in Ecuador?

The shopping centers are of course the first ones to decorate for Christmas. They depend on the people’s will too buy being stimulated in time. The mandatory Christmas tree is from the beginning of December in all department stores, public institutions and other places people are meeting. As a rule the trees are made in real plastic, but they also may be formed in other materials. And it doesn’t has to be green. As long as it has the conical shape it is recognizable and will be associated with Christmas. On our facebook page we have posted some pictures of Christmas trees we’ve seen on our way.

The Christmas decorations

In their homes people are decorating their plastic trees for Christmas. But there are perhaps even more who make their own nativity scene. The Catholic religion is strong and so is the Christian story about the child in Betlehem. The decoration of the baby Jesus in the stable together with Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the kings, and all the others is seen everywhere.

There is also a strong element of competition in having the finest one. In Quito there is an exhibition in the Itchimbia park where different artists have created their interpretations. Sisters of the  Carmelita Order open their monastry crib with handmade shapes and decorations that the diligent sisters have made the last 300 years.

The Pope has in a book written that the good old donkey could hardly have been present at the event in the stable. It’s probably other critical details in this Christmas story, but he could hardly receive more resentment than kicking the ass out of the stable in Ecuador.

More about Christmas celebration in Ecuador after this advertisement:

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Shopping, gifts and Christmas dinner in Ecuador

When it comes to Christmas shopping, it is not so hectic.  At least not until two days before Christmas. Then it explodes. As in even more “civilized” countries, people is using money they not yet had earned. The use of credit expanses, and January will be tight for many.

Christmas food is not particularly traditional, and they often eat turkey as on other festivals.

On Christmas Eve, the family business and the distribution of gifts take place as “normal”. A Christmas prayer where you thank the great Señor is also to be done in the most catholic homes. And sometimes Santa Claus come for a visit. He is well dressed for the clima.

If you wish to celebrate Cristmas in Ecuador, we recommend Viva Ecuador Tour Operator.

Merry Christmas everyone.