Nochebuena and Navidad are Spanish words referring to the night of Christmas Eve, and celebrated on December 24 every year. In Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines, the evening consists of a traditional dinner with family.
- The Cuban and Puerto Rican tradition is a family dinner centered around a pig roast, or lechón. The pig is often cooked in a “Caja China,” a large box where an entire pig is placed above hot coals. The dinner features many side dishes and desserts, and often games of dominos are played. The tradition is continued by Cuban and Puerto Rican families in the United States.
- In Spain, Nochebuena includes a dinner with family and friends after Christmas Mass. It is particularly common to start the meal with a seafood dish followed by a bowl of hot, homemade soup. It is also common to have desserts such as turrón.
- In some countries of Latin America Nochebuena is also celebrated on Christmas Eve and marks the final evening of the Posadas celebrations, in others a dinner is served with the family usually after attended the late Mass known as “Misa de Gallo“.
- In the Philippines, the traditional dinner comes at midnight after the family has attended the late evening Mass known as Misa de Gallo. Some of the more conventional dishes served for the main course include: lechón, pancit, sweet-tasting spaghetti, fried chicken, hamón, quezo de bola, arroz caldo, lumpia, turkey, relyenong bangus (stuffed milkfish), adobo, steamed rice, and various breads including pan de sal. Desserts include úbe halayá, bibingka, membrilyo, fruit salad, and various different rice and flour-based cakes, ice cream, pastries and fruits, while popular beverages include the seasonal tsokolate as well as coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, and fruit juices. [SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nochebuena]
At home this Christmas Eve our simple Noche Buena consist of Pancit Canton (A traditional Filipino noodle dish with vegetables, chicken, pork, and shrimp), Pork Lumpia (Fried spring rolls) paired with 2012 Pinot Grigio, and Coca Cola for our little guy.
A Very Merry Christmas To All