Today is Christmas Eve, a day in the United States that for many people consists of last minute shopping, meal preparations, and spending time with loved ones. D and I arrived in Philadelphia yesterday to celebrate the holiday with my family. In Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines  nochebuena which in Spanish literally means “good night” refers to the night of Christmas Eve. In these countries the evening consists of a traditional dinner with family and friends and lots of celebrating. In Esmeralda Santiago’s memoir When I was Puerto Rican, she details the traditions of nochebuena which take place on her native Puerto Rico every year including the family dinner that centered around the lechon (pig roast).

A Filipino nochebuena meal
A colonial era church and Christmas tree in Puerto Rico

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