Celebrando the Holidays en Familia
Hispanic holidays give marketers more time to cheer
With the Holidays fast approaching, families are getting ready to celebrate with their loved ones. Similar to most American families, Hispanic families are decorating the Christmas tree, shopping for gifts, and getting ready to host family from out of town. But there is so much more to the Hispanic holiday season. Plans for the big family Posadas are in the works, and many are already looking forward to a sweet start to the New Year with the traditional Rosca de Reyes. This is a time when Hispanic families come together to share and honor their religious and cultural traditions, and also a time for marketers to celebrate.
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Inspired by religious practices, a popular component of the holiday season for Hispanics that leads up to Christmas is the festive 9-day celebration known as Las Posadas. Although the origin of Las Posadas can be traced back to Mexico, they are now observed in several countries in Central America and many Hispanic communities in the U.S. Never heard of Las Posadas? Here’s a quick rundown:
- Celebrated between December 16th and December 24th
- They commemorate Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem
- As part of the celebration, a young child dresses up as an angel and leads the procession through town
In addition to its religious significance, Posadas also include traditional food, warm and comforting drinks, and lively holiday music. Families gather together to sing Christmas carols, read scriptures, and watch as children take turns breaking a piñata filled with candy and fruit. It is important to note that the traditional 7-point star shape of piñatas symbolizes the 7 deadly sins and the act of breaking the piñata is a metaphor for overcoming evil and temptation. It is a special moment for families, neighbors, and friends to join as a community and celebrate the Christmas season.
Unlike most Americans who celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, Hispanic families have their big bash on Christmas Eve (or “Noche Buena”) on the 24th. Noche Buena is a special time for families to share traditional dishes and spend quality time together. Some dishes you can expect to be at the table include tamales, champurrado, buñuelos, turkey, and arroz con leche. Although most Hispanic get-togethers are big family affairs, this is usually one of the biggest, as it tends to include the extended family. Celebrating on the 24th can be traced back to Spanish colonization and religion.
- Spaniards came to the Americas in the late 1400s
- They brought over Catholicism, which is the predominant religion for Hispanics
- Some Hispanic families go to church for nine nights leading up to the 24th with the culmination being a nighttime mass on Christmas Eve.
After a long night of observing religious traditions (finishing la novena, placing baby Jesus in the nativity scene, and reminiscing over misa), eating delicious treats, and opening presents in the company of their loved ones, Hispanics usually see the 25th as a day of rest from the celebrations and of course, the famous “recalentado”! (heating up and enjoying the previous evening’s yummy leftovers).
Día de Reyes
One of the last celebrations of the season is Día de Reyes, observed by many Hispanics on January 6 in honor of the Three Wise Men. One of the most important traditions held that day is the serving of Rosca de Reyes.
- The Rosca de Reyes is a sweet bread in the shape of a wreath that symbolizes a crown
- It is filled with one or more small dolls inside in the shape of a baby to symbolize an infant Jesus hiding from King Herod’s troops
- Each person cuts their own slice, and whoever ends up with the baby doll must host a party on Día de la Candelaria (February 2nd) to eat delicious tamales
Apart from the serving of Rosca de Reyes, Día de Reyes is a time when many children receive gifts. Before bedtime, children place their old shoes with a wish list for the Three Kings, and in the morning their shoes are filled with gifts from the Reyes Magos.
How Marketers can tap into the Hispanic holidays
Hispanic families celebrate their love for food, religion, and family over a longer period, giving marketers more opportunities to engage. It is important that during this season marketers get intimately familiar with the culture and essence of the Hispanic holidays to connect in an authentic way. For example, Hispanics will enjoy plenty of music during this time, creating natural opportunities for music streaming companies to curate and promote holiday-themed playlists. Family mealtime is the centerpiece of the holidays and food brands, retailers and supermarkets can market tasty, relevant, and family-sized meal solutions to the entire Hispanic family. Gifts are also exchanged during this season and large and small businesses can get their best gift ideas in front of Hispanics through January 6th.
Whatever traditions you and your loved ones share, we hope this special season is filled with love, happiness, and cherished memories with your loved ones. Felices fiestas and happy holidays from the Captura Group familia!