In Colombia, When Do Families Exchange Gifts

In Colombia When Do Families Exchange Gifts? Solved

Last Updated on March 23, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

During the festive period, individuals come together with family and friends to share presents and cherish moments spent together.

But when do Colombian families typically exchange gifts? And what is the most popular gift to give in Colombia?

In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more.

When Do Families Exchange Gifts In Colombia?

christmas gifts

In Colombia, gift-giving usually occurs on December 25th, but some families exchange gifts on December 31st or January 6th. 

The most common gifts are clothes, toys, and books. Families often give each other food gifts, such as baked goods or fruit. 

Colombians also exchange gifts with their godparents and godchildren. Godparents give their godchildren gifts on December 25th, and godchildren give their godparents gifts on January 6th. 

In addition to exchanging gifts, families in Colombia also traditionally decorate their homes with Nativity scenes and lights. They also attend Midnight Mass on December 24th and participate in processions on December 25th. 

All of these traditions help to make Christmas a special time for families in Colombia.

When Is Christmas In Colombia?

Christmas in Colombia is celebrated on December 25th, like in many other countries worldwide. However, the lead-up to Christmas starts much earlier in Colombia. 

The holiday season officially begins on December 7th with the celebration of the Immaculate Conception.

This is followed by other holidays, including the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th and La Navidad on December 24th. 

As a result, Colombians enjoy a longer holiday season than most people in other parts of the world. Christmas Day is typically spent with family, enjoying a traditional meal, and exchanging gifts. 

In recent years, Colombian cities have also begun hosting large public celebrations on Christmas Eve, with music, dance, and fireworks. Christmas in Colombia is a festive and joyous occasion enjoyed by people of all ages.

How Do Families Celebrate Christmas In Colombia?

Christmas is a big celebration in Colombia. Families get together and have large meals with traditional dishes such as tamales [1] and cornmeal dough wrapped in banana leaves and filled with meat or vegetables. 

There is also a tradition of setting up a Nativity scene, or “pesebre” in Spanish. This usually includes a stable with baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the animals, the Three Kings, and other figures such as angels or shepherds. 

Another popular tradition is called “Los posadas,” which celebrates the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. People go from house to house singing songs and carrying candles.

At the journey’s end, they often break open piñatas filled with candy and other treats. 

Colombian families also like to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. All of these traditions make for a festive and joyous holiday season.

History Of Christmas In Colombia

2 women opening gifts

Christmas is a joyous occasion that is celebrated by Christians all over the world. In Colombia, the holiday is known as “Los Pastores” or “The Shepherds.” 

The Christmas story begins with the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ to the shepherds. They then visit him, bringing him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

In Colombia, the holiday is celebrated on December 25th with a special mass called “Misa de Gallo.” families attend this mass together and then enjoy a large feast.

The meal often includes a roasted pig, tamales, empanadas, arepas, and various fruits and sweets. 

After the feast, people typically spend time with their family and friends, exchange gifts, and enjoy traditional music and dance. Christmas in Colombia is a time of great joy and celebration.

Read: Who Gives Gifts In Italy?

Christmas in Colombia vs USA

Though both the United States and Colombia celebrate Christmas on December 25th, there are several key ways in which the holiday is different in each country. 

In Colombia, for example, it is traditional for families to decorate their homes with a Nativity scene.

This typically includes false palm branches, straws, and small clay figurines of baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Colorful lights and other decorations are also often used to adorn houses and public spaces. 

Another tradition unique to Colombia is sharing tutuamor – a candy made from panela (unrefined sugar cane). Families typically exchange tutuamor on Christmas Eve as a sign of affection. 

In the United States, Christmas trees are much more commonly used as a decoration than Nativity scenes. American families also exchange gifts on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve.  But when do you put gifts under the Christmas tree?

However, one tradition shared by both countries is cooking special holiday meals. Dishes such as roast pork or turkey, tamales, and buñuelos (a type of fried dough) are popular in both the United States and Colombia during Christmas.


What time do Colombian families exchange Christmas gifts?

Most Colombian families will exchange gifts on Christmas Eve. Some families may wait until after midnight mass, but the gift exchange is usually done before dinner.

Find out the meaning of Pollyanna gift here.

Who brings children gifts in Colombia?

Usually, it is the godparents who bring gifts for the children during Christmas. But in some cases, it can also be the parents or other relatives. But how many gifts should your children receive for Christmas?

Key Takeaways

Colombia is a country with many traditions and customs. Festivals and holidays are celebrated with great fanfare, and gift-giving is no exception. 

In Colombia, families exchange gifts on Three Kings Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Day. 

If you’re planning a trip to Colombia, add these special occasions to your calendar to enjoy the festivities.


Kimberlee Johnson
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