La Novena de Navidad

La Novena de Navidad (Christmas Novena) is a nine-day celebration leading up to the Midnight Mass on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) which celebrates the birth of Jesus. It is a holiday tradition in Colombia and some Latin countries.

La Novena de Navidad is a Colombian, Ecuadorian and Venezuelan Tradition

A Novena is a nine-day prayer. La Novena de Navidad is the tradition that families use to prepare for Christmas. Like a Passover Seder in the Jewish faith, it is a family time when traditions are taught to children.

La Novena de Navidad can be a religious or a cultural celebration. It is often celebrated with extended family and neighbors. Some families celebrate in the home of a different family member or neighbor each night.

As in many holiday traditions, there are different prayers for every night. Prayers are typically shared around 6pm before dinner.

La Novena de Navidad is a Roman Catholic tradition, but there is humanity and grace to be found in all holiday traditions.

Day 1 December 16 ~ Reconciliation

Forgiveness creates peace and harmony.

Day 2 December 17 ~ Understanding

To have a good Christmas, we try to understand what it is about.

Day 3 December 18 ~ Respect

We can respect others without judging or forcing them to be like us.

Day 4 December 19 ~ Sincerity

We can look for truth in our lives.

Day 5 December 20 ~ Dialogue

The best holiday gift is a loving conversation.

Day 6 December 21 ~ Simplicity

Great people live a simple life.

Day 7 December 22 ~ Generosity

When we give love, we receive love.

Day 8 December 23 ~ Faith

Without faith we are lost.

Day 9 December 24 ~ Hope and Love

Love and hope go together with faith.

La Navidad

The painting is El Greco’s Adoration of the Shepherds (1614). He was working on it when he died.

In Latin countries, the nativity is the main symbol of Christmas. Christmas trees are Nordic in origin. Italy has a strong nativity tradition in Naples. Colombians make elaborate nativity scenes in their homes.

You don’t see many nativities in New York City because some object to the religious symbolism. New York City’s big nativity scene is at the end of the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.


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