Christmas and New Year Traditions in the Dominican Republic


You start to notice Christmas in the Dominican Republic towards the end of October, with the coming of autumn, the appearance of decorations and ornaments and the anticipation of presents that are given at this time of year.

Traditionally, Christmas songs can start to be heard from October 10 on some radio stations in the country.

One festival follows another and December is continuous celebration among family and friends.

No Christmas Eve meal is complete without dishes such as the famous Telera (a large bread, approximately 30 inches long), spit-roast pig, roasted leg of pork, turkey, chicken or moro de Guandules (pigeon pea rice), which can all be found on the table alongside candies, coquitos (creamy Christmas drinks) and fruits such as apples and grapes.

Spit-roast pig or suckling pig is traditionally from Cibao (an area in the North of the country) and stuffed turkey from San Juan de la Maguana and San José de Ocoa. Pasteles en hojas, (tamale-like items made from plantain, green banana or yautia, stuffed with meat, wrapped in banana leaves and tied together with string), originated in the East but are commonly eaten across the country.

Before or during the Christmas meal, some people burn incense to cleanse the body or to drive away evil spirits. Other people wash themselves with leaves.

Besides all the tasty food, music is another central element to Dominican culture and at Christmas you usually find traditional or popular music groups in the streets performing carols to the public for money. They visit shops and entertainment centers and sometimes get parties going!

They play musical instruments including the güira, the tambora and accordions usually in groups of four people and they get the Christmas celebrations underway with their musical rhythm.

The New Year is celebrated on January 1 but celebrations begin on the night of December 31 with the firing of cannons at midnight to announce the arrival of the new year.  At that moment, everyone embraces one another in happiness, celebrating the end of the old year and the beginning of the new.

After Christmas and New Year, Epiphany is celebrated annually on January 6. Children always look forward to this day to see what present they get from the Three Kings.  A few days before, they prepare letters and gifts, including candies, for the kings, and, together with grass and water for the kings’ camels, place them somewhere where they hope the kings will leave their presents.

Traditionally, when children wake up on Epiphany morning, they find the presents that they had asked for in the place where they had left presents for the kings.

If you are interested in investing in this marvelous resort and in enjoying its traditions and a new way of living, Iberostate invites you to have a look at the real estate we offer and the facilities we can provide you with.

We wish you a Happy Christmas and prosperous 2015.

Iberostate Bávaro, Dominican Republic
/ Carretera Arena Gorda Higuey

1 (809) 468-5151 Ext 1430