Traditions in Puerto Rico: what you shouldn’t miss on your trip.

Vacationing in Puerto Rico is a unique experience. Its nature and beaches dazzle anyone. What many don’t know is that they can also enjoy its typical festivals and gastronomic variety. The traditions in Puerto Rico are very varied. Its festivals will make your trip a unique experience. 

Puerto Ricans are very cheerful people.If you come from “more closed” countries you will be surprised to see how they greet you in the street. Even without knowing you, many will come up to hug you as a welcome. In other words, you will feel at home.

Puerto Ricans are often known as “boricuas“. The term dates back to colonial times. It refers to the descendant or mestizo of the original inhabitants. This “mix” or diversity in Puerto Rico is evident in its customs and traditions.

Traditions in Puerto Rico that you should know

As in all countries, there are typical celebrations that take place every year. Many of them are related to the religious sphere. Even if you do not consider yourself one of them, you can participate in their celebrations and you will feel like a citizen of Puerto Rico. 

1- Patron saint festivities. 

These take place mainly in January and December in each town of Puerto Rico. There are 78 in total distributed in all the towns and on different days. There, the inhabitants gather in the main square where they carry out different activities. Parades, games, a wide variety of typical food and live music. A real party that you can’t miss.

2- Mask Festival

Every December 28th, joy and colors dye the town of Hatillo. The festival of masks is one of the most deeply rooted traditions of Puerto Rico, dating back to the 19th century. Little by little it spread to the rest of the community until it became a local tradition. In it, neighbors take to the streets with handmade masks and parade through the main streets. From the youngest children to the grandparents enjoy this celebration. 

There are also those who dress up their cars and trucks to be part of this celebration. When all participants arrive at the main square, a jury chooses the best masks and carriages of the event.

3- San Sebastian Street Festivities

Old San Juan” dresses up every January to celebrate “San Sebastian”. There are even many tourists who travel exclusively to Puerto Rico just to enjoy this festivity.

The celebration of San Sebastian Street is one of the most popular celebrations in Puerto Rico. Parades, musical shows, etc. take place.There is also the popular parade of the “cabezudos” and the “giant dolls”. These are giant figures several meters high that dress up as different characters and make them circulate throughout the city.

4- Nights of San Juan

Every June 23 and 24, it is tradition for Puerto Ricans to go to the shores of the coasts to follow a ritual. This consists of entering the water three times, on their backs, to chase away evil spirits. It is common, for example, to see bonfires on the beach and people singing around them. 

Food and its tradition in Puerto Rico

If you visit Puerto Rico I anticipate that you are going to eat a lot. There is such a variety of exquisite food that you will want to try it all. Here are some of the events you can visit:

1- Taste 

It is the main gastronomic festival. It gathers, every May, the best chefs on the island. Guests come from all over the world. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to meet the proposals of more than 30 restaurants. 

2- SoFo

This event has the particularity of being free. In addition to eating delicious food, you can enjoy shows performed by local artists.

More than 40 restaurants participate here, offering a tasting of their products. Also, they include a sample of the typical drinks of the area.

3- National Maccabeus Festival

Food occupies a very important place in the life of Puerto Rico. You can enjoy the most delicious delicacies during your stay, one of them is the “Macabeo” which even has its own festival. There, exhibitors present different versions of this food. In addition, as in most celebrations in Puerto Rico, there is a lot of music to liven up the atmosphere and performances by local artists.


Another striking feature of this festival is that trova competitions are also held. In this musical genre, the art of improvisation is highlighted and even children participate in this competition.

4- Coffee Festival

In February, Maricao celebrates a festival allusive to this drink. As in all the other festivities, you can enjoy parades and good music. The best coffee in the world grown in this area. You can buy some samples to take home and remember your fabulous experience. 

In conclusion, knowing and enjoying the traditions of Puerto Rico will make your trip a unique experience, don’t miss it!

 

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