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Las parrandas navideñas

Do you know what are las parrandas navideñas?

The parrandas are a musical tradition very popular in both Puerto Rico and Venezuela. In Puerto Rico, they mostly take place during the holidays, and are best known as parrandas navideñas.

This tradition consists of a group of people (friends, family or neighbors) dropping by someone’s house to surprise them with a musical performance. After playing, singing, eating and drinking, the group -along with the homeowners- will take the parranda to another house to repeat the process. After which they will go to another house and then another all night long until the party breaks up.

During this musical party, los parranderos play traditional instruments like cuatro (a type of guitar), maracas, trompetas, or güiro (a percussion instrument) and sing ‘aguinaldos’. Aguinaldos are folk songs of the holiday/Christmas genre, but -unlike carolings- they’re not necessarily religious in nature.