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December 25th in South America: A “Not-So-White” Christmas

Posted by Lauren Yagoda on Dec 5, 2016 12:24:13 PM

In the United States, especially for those of us who live in the east coast, we tend to associate Christmas with snow, bountiful meals and a cup of hot cocoa. In the southern hemisphere, the seasons are the opposite from those in North America. When it’s summer here, it’s winter down there. Christmas in South America is interestingly, more about short sleeves and pool parties than it is about snow and sitting by the fire. But what are the differences and similarities between spending this holiday up north or down south? Let’s discover all the ways.

The Outfits

Girl holds in hands Christmas present. Christmas background. Gifts for men. Knitted mittens. Knitted dress. Box with gifts. Merry Christmas.

In the northern hemisphere, wearing a green and/or red sweater is a tradition. Down in the South America, people wear short sleeves. They may like reindeer pullovers, but when the temperature is 100+ degrees, they don’t want to melt!


Santa Claus

Workshop of Santa Claus. Portrait of Santa Claus making Christmas gifts at home near beautiful Christmas tree and a fireplace.

South Americans call him Papa Noel! Although the name may be different, the concept of a chubby, bearded man delivering presents from home to home is the same in both regions.

There is, however, a small opposing detail. In many Southern countries, winter is not so cold, and many cities temperatures never go below 30 degrees. Therefore, chimneys are not as typical in South America as they are in nations above the Ecuador. Also because of this, Santa dresses in short sleeves and short pants in South America. What a funny view of the man who lives in the North Pole!



Fireworks or flares as explosive devices in category one. Features include sound lighting of fireworks flares smoke and ash are designed to burn and ignite the light colors. Fireworks are used in almost every country around the world.

Fireworks are a big aspect of a South American Christmas! Families get together to light them up and enjoy the colors in the sky…Every year, people love a healthy competition against neighbors over who has the best, most extravagant displays!



Traditional Christmas drink eggnog and cookies on a wooden background surrounded by Christmas tree branches.

Hot or cold, it’s a drink that many people in the U.S. enjoy over the holiday. This tradition, however, doesn’t exist in the South America, where instead, people drink Caipirinhas (Brazil) or some of the best wines in the World (Argentina and Chile).


Family Getaways


In both regions, many families spend the night of the 24th together. However, since the summer break in South America is December-February, a lot of families will actually celebrate Christmas at the beach.



Lots of gift boxes on white wood background. Stylish modern presents in gray and green paper decorated with red satin ribbon bows. Christmas and winter holidays concept, top view, flat lay

“Christmas” and “capitalism” go hand in hand! Whether it’s Ecuador, Panama or New York, children will always want the coolest action figure, teens will do everything they can to get the newest smartphone and fathers…yes, fathers will always crave the same boring tie+vest combo.


Experience a South American Christmas. Book with Gil Travel TODAY!

Topics: USA