How to Celebrate a Nicaraguan Style Christmas

Christmas in Nicaragua begins on December 7th itself with the Nicaraguans celebrating La Purisima or the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary.

Like many other Latin American countries, Nicaragua preserves the culture and traditions of celebrating Christmas the Spanish way. During the weeks before Christmas, people come out on the streets in hordes buying presents, candles, small Nativity figures, toys and even street food. Nicaraguans are big believers in fireworks and all through the month of December one can hear the sounds of continuous celebration.

Here are some handy hints to celebrate Christmas Nicaraguan style.

A few suggestions

  1. On December 7th participate in La Purisima, a function, which celebrates the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary.
  2. Construct an altar in your front room on the same day and leave the main door open. The altar should be visible to the people in the streets so that they may pray at it when they visit you.
  3. Give your guests special Purisima sweets made from sugar cane when they come to visit you during this time.
  4. Later in the evening go out and enjoy ‘La Noche de Griteria’ or ‘The Night of the Screaming’. For this accompany like minded people to people’s houses singing with all your might (to the extent that you lose your voice). Enjoy the fireworks that accompany these festivities and eat sweets like rosquillas, lehe de burra, oranges, lemons and chopped cane.
  5. On Christmas Eve, attend Midnight Mass along with your friends and family. Wait for the church bells to summon you to the mass.
  6. Later stand in line to kiss the Child Christ who has been born in the manger. At this time the image of El Nino (Baby Christ) is added to all Nacimiento (Nativity) scenes.
  7. Partake of a Christmas dinner comprising of Paella, stuffed chicken, nacatamal and freshly baked bread and exchange white and plain Christmas cards with each other.


  • Leave presents in children’s shoes on January 6th as the gifts brought by the Magi.


  • Do not forget to place the Baby Jesus in the manger in the Nativity scene after coming back from Midnight Mass.

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