Here at Mission Discovery, we LOVE Christmas. It’s a wonderful time of year when so many people are focusing on family and friends and the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. We also love that Christmas is celebrated in different ways all over the world. We took some time to explore how Christmas is celebrated in a few countries we serve through our mission trips. We learned about the unique traditions, delicious foods, and heartwarming customs that make this time of year special in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Eswatini, Jamaica, and Northern Ireland.
Costa Rica: Pura Vida Christmas
Costa Rica, known for its “Pura Vida” lifestyle, brings the same joy and warmth to its Christmas celebrations. Festivities kick off in early December with vibrant street parades, lively music, and traditional dance performances. Families gather to prepare tamales, a Christmas delicacy, and the aroma of fresh tropical fruits fills the air. In Costa Rica, the holiday season is a time of togetherness and sharing the Pura Vida spirit.
Guatemala: Posadas and Fireworks
In Guatemala, Christmas is marked by the colorful festival of Las Posadas, representing Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter. Homes open their doors for reenactments, and the air is filled with traditional music and the scent of traditional Guatemalan cuisine. As night falls, the sky lights up with dazzling fireworks. The Guatemalan Christmas is a beautiful blend of cultural richness and religious significance.
Eswatini: Christmas in the Kingdom
Eswatini, often referred to as the “Kingdom of Eswatini,” celebrates Christmas with a unique blend of tradition and spirituality. The holiday season is a time of community gatherings, where people join in dance, music, and the sharing of a special Christmas meal. The colorful attire and joyful celebrations reflect the rich cultural heritage of this Southern African nation, making Christmas a truly enchanting time in Eswatini.
Jamaica: Reggae Rhythms and Christmas Joy
In Jamaica, the Christmas season is infused with the sounds of reggae music and the spirit of togetherness. Jamaicans celebrate with grand street parties, delicious feasts featuring traditional dishes like jerk chicken, and the iconic Jamaican Christmas cake. It’s a time when the island’s hospitality shines, and communities come together to share laughter, music, and the unmistakable warmth of the Caribbean Christmas.
Northern Ireland: A Celtic Christmas
Northern Ireland, with its Celtic heritage, brings a touch of charm to Christmas. The streets are adorned with festive lights, and the air is filled with the sounds of carolers. Families gather for a traditional Christmas dinner, featuring roast turkey and all the trimmings. The season is marked by a sense of goodwill, and the stunning landscapes of Northern Ireland provide a picturesque backdrop for the holiday festivities.
As we reflect on the diverse ways in which Christmas is celebrated across Costa Rica, Guatemala, Eswatini, Jamaica, and Northern Ireland, Mission Discovery invites you to embrace the spirit of global unity and shared joy. This holiday season, let’s celebrate the richness of cultural traditions and the warmth of human connections. Together, may this Christmas be a meaningful journey of compassion, connection, and cultural understanding. Merry Christmas!