Christmas Fix Holidays

In Venezuela, Christmas Pies Are Hallacas


Mary Granella /


Flowers adorn a family Christmas tree in Venezuela


Mary Granella
Venezuela – Christmas celebrations in Venezuela aren’t much different from
other countries around the world.
Most people set
up their own Christmas trees in their homes – some like getting a natural
Canadian pine tree while others, like my family, own plastic trees.
People here use flowers,
ribbons, bows, glitter, Christmas balls and stars to decorate their trees. Some
of these are hand-made, especially since a majority of schools around the
country make it mandatory for kindergarten classes to create their own décor to
hang up on each kid’s family tree.
Huge trees are
also set up and decorated all over town. They’re in shopping malls, bakeries,
clothing shops and other places. The mall closest to my house set up a gigantic
85-feet tall Christmas tree right next to the escalators.
But the way we
make Christmas our own is by cooking typical Venezuelan Christmas food.


Reporter Mary Granella with her family’s nacimiento

One specialty is
a stuffed type of pie known as “hallaca” that is filled with green olives,
raisins, pork, chicken and beef. In some places, people even add beans.
There’s also the
traditional chicken and potato salad, ham bread and ponche crema, a creamy liquor.
This year my
family and I met to prepare hallacas, set up the Christmas tree and a
“nacimiento,”which is a sort of statue representation of baby Jesus’ birth in
the Bethlehem manger.
On the 24th, Christmas
Eve, we’ll meet at my grandmother’s house for dinner and exchange presents at

See more wonderful pieces in the Youth Journalism International ongoing series, Christmas Around The World.