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What To Expect When Celebrating Christmas With A Medellin Girl

A woman holding out an earphone
Make the holidays extra special for your Medellin girl.

There’s a certain amount of pressure to make things great on Christmas. For a lot of people around the world, it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. But the pressure that’s put on it can interfere with all the wonder.

Men who are in a long-distance relationship can often feel the pressure to make the holidays memorable for their girlfriends. When a couple doesn’t get to see each other as much as they want, there’s pressure to make the time that they do get to spend together count.

So if you’re a guy dating a Medellin girl, how are you supposed to make the holidays as wonderful as possible? What do you need to know in order to celebrate the season when you take a flight to Medellin?

The first thing you need to know is that Christmas Day festivities do not start when you wake up on Christmas morning.

They start at midnight, so you’re supposed to stay awake. If you’re the type to go to bed early, you’re going to have to find a way to keep your eyes open. Luckily, Colombia is famous for its coffee, so staying up shouldn’t be a problem.

The best time to celebrate Christmas in Medellin is at night. That’s when everything seemingly comes alive and memories are best made.

Common Practices

Of all the Colombian cities, it is Medellin that is renowned for its extravagant Christmas lights, going out at night is sure to be a good time.

Oh, and if you think that El Alumbrado (the lighting) only happens because a bunch of residents decided to put up their Christmas lights.

It may have started out that way, but it’s evolved into an annual tradition with support from the local government.

The displays themselves aren’t just random, either. There’s either a common theme or the lights themselves tell a complete story.

A Christmas tree lit up at night
Christmas isn’t just about presents, it’s also about being together.

If you want to make the most out of it, start on La Playa Avenue and make your way to the Medellin River, where the main event is located.

Take note that the route is a bit over 4.5 miles long, so wear comfortable shoes if you do want to see the Christmas lights unless you want to wake up the next morning with sore soles.

You’ll also probably see a lot of nativity scenes, known as el pesebre (stable) around the city. There might even be one in your girlfriend’s home. In fact, you may see a lot of the aforementioned Christmas lights arranged in a nativity scene.

The reason for the prevalence of nativity scenes around the city is simple; Colombia is a predominantly Christian country so the religious aspects of the holiday are still celebrated. It’s not just about presents and eggnog down there, it’s also about being spiritual.

Another tradition that is celebrated in Medellin, and Colombia as a whole, is the Novena de Aguinaldos.

This is celebrated on the nine nights that lead up to Christmas and it is when families take turns hosting a Novena party where they pray, sing local Christmas carols known as villancicos, and eat and drink.

Then there’s Noche Buena (Christmas Eve). So you might be used to the night before Christmas being silent, that all through the house not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.

Yeah, it’s not like that in Colombia. If you’re dating a Latina and you visit your girlfriend in Medellin, you’ll find that the night before Christmas is a lively, festive occasion. People have a huge feast and there might even be a countdown to midnight like on New Year’s Eve.

Christmas Bounty

Speaking of a Christmas feast, what sort of food can you expect to dine on when celebrating Christmas in Medellin?

Close up shot of a table during Christmas
Eat up, Colombia’s got a lot of great Christmas food.

Buñuelos: These are snacks that can be eaten at any time of the year, but they’re usually served as a pre-dinner Christmas snack. They’re deep-fried cheese fritters rolled into balls. Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, no Christmas Eve in Colombia is complete without them.

Dulce de Nochebuena: Literally translated as a Christmas Eve dessert, this is eaten before the main course - sometimes hours before - instead of after. This treat consists of different fruits like figs, papaya, and lime all lathered in syrup. They’re also sometimes served with other treats like buñuelos listed above.

Lechona: Now it’s time for the main course and in Colombia, that’s going to be lechona more often than not. What is it? Well, take a pig, stuff it with a variety of herbs, spices, and vegetables, roast it, and then serve.

If the main course isn’t lechona, then it might be a roast turkey or slow-roasted pork shanks doused in dark beer for extra flavor.

Whatever the main course, it’s not going to come with a lot of side dishes. But, it will be served with rice, potatoes, bread, salad, or some combination of the four.

Natilla: So, the main course has been served but the festivities and feasting aren’t quite over yet. So what’s next? What’s next is probably going to be natilla, a traditional Christmas sweet custard made with unrefined cane sugar.

Arroz con Leche: If the host doesn’t serve natilla, or if they serve another dessert alongside it, you’ll probably find arroz con leche on the table. It is a rice pudding made with vanilla, cinnamon, and raisins. While it is a traditional Christmas dessert, it is still popular enough in Colombia that it is served all-year round.

Aguardiente: Of course, you’ll have to wash all that food down with something and that something can be aguardiente (fire water), the national drink of Colombia.

If you’re wondering what this is, it’s basically moonshine made from sugarcane and has between 24 to 29 percent alcohol content so drink moderately. Or don’t. It’s Christmas. You’re allowed to enjoy yourself.

Eggnog: If you’re not drinking alcohol, then you can always sip on eggnog. If you do want to drink something alcohol while still sipping on eggnog, you can spike your eggnog with aguardiente to make sabajon.

So there’s a lot about a Colombian Christmas that might feel foreign to you, particularly if you don’t observe the religious aspects of the season.

But between those aspects and commercialized parts of the holiday like the sales and shopping, there’s going to be a lot to do during the Christmas season. Then again, having a lot to do is part and parcel of dating Latina women no matter what time of year.

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