Christmas Day is an annual holiday in Guatemala every 25 December. Most Christmas traditions were brought over by the Spanish during colonial days. Roman Catholic traditions are strong, as 48 percent of the population is Catholic, but 33 percent is Protestant or Evangelical, so religious Christmas traditions do also vary.
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Most Christians will attend church on either 24 December, on 25 December, or both. Families will gather together for a Christmas dinner, sometimes eating “Christmas tamales” full of a wide variety of ingredients.
At midnight on Christmas Eve, fireworks explode in the sky and kids often set of small firecrackers.
At home, the family nativity set is of prime importance. Many people make their own from scratch, and in Guatemala, it’s traditional to use coloured saw dust in the nativity scene. The nativity set is sometimes put under the Christmas tree, and the family will gather round the tree to pray just before opening the presents at midnight on Christmas Eve.
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