Final Feature Story – Alberto Santiago Santiago

Christmas Spirit in Puerto Rican Culture

By: Alberto Santiago Santiago

November 29, 2011

 

On a normal Friday in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, there was something hidden from our people, many of them didn’t have any idea of what was going to happen. But all ways to Plaza del Caribe Shopping Center were filling at the level that all the parking lot of mentioned shopping center was completely full. The reason is that there was a Christmas lighting inside Plaza del Caribe in Ponce. This is a traditional event that happens every year especially in November, when the Christmas Spirit in Puerto Rico starts

 

This activity was presented on Friday, November 11, 2011 in the central atrium of mentioned place. Over 5,000 people attended to this great activity to be part of this particular tradition that distinguishes us as Puerto Ricans. This was a great activity to the entire family; there are “artesanias” from local artists, and a “concurso de trovadores” for those who have an ability to compose.

The approximately 5,000 people of Ponce and surroundings enjoying the event.

 

Plaza del Caribe is one of the largest shopping centers in Puerto Rico, it has approximately 150 stores and it serves the city of Ponce and surroundings. This shopping center is a great place to hang out with family and friends and they have so many things to do inside it.

 

According to the local newspaper “La Perla Del Sur” this structure was illuminated with over 5 million bulbs installed inside and outside the building.  A few engineers and technicians work strenuously a month earlier before the activity to check the performance of the illuminating system to provide a high-class activity like this every year.

 

 

Not only a lighting show was to be presented, also a musical event was part of the activity to provide to “ponceños” a high quality event. This year the lucky artist that was chosen to be there was Danny Rivera a famous Puerto Rican singer and composer that excited the crowd with typical Puerto Rican Christmas songs.

Here we can see the gigantic Christmas tree, Danny Rivera on the stage and the enthusiastic people.

Danny Rivera, driven by his deep voice makes the public melt into an embrace for a better society. He started the Christmas Spirit in Ponce when he performed famous Christmas songs like “El Cardenalito”, “El Coqui”, “Noche de Paz” and the “Villancico Yaucano”. These songs are part of our tradition and are very awaited from our people in activities like this.

 

Many young people attended, like a lady named Sherley Rodriguez, a 11th grade student from Liceo Ponceño who went it to see the gigantic Christmas tree. She told me that she didn’t know that Danny Rivera was going to offer a concert there but she stayed there and enjoyed his music completely.

 

Other youth people like Eduardo Llegus and Antonio Llegus, brothers, visited the shopping center just for shopping and to see friends and walk around but the activity surprised them, they completed their shopping day and also went to the central atrium to become part of the show. They felt pleased after the show and said, “we will return to another event of that quality level.”

 

“Danny Rivera is one of my favorite singers of Puerto Rico, and I have seen the announcement on the newspaper and I said myself: ‘I have to be there, it’s an opportunity that I cant lose,” said the enthusiastic Doctor Carlos Gonzalez.

This is an example that there are all classes of people; there are doctors as mentioned before, professors, housewives, secretaries and a great diversity of people. But almost all enjoyed the show, some people were not satisfied by the event because the security inside the shopping center was very poor, this is the impression from Elizabeth Guadalupe who visited “Plaza del Caribe” to meet with her friends but the activity did not reach her expectations.

 

Sherley Rodriguez also said that she did not like Danny’s Rivera music so much but she stayed there, after Danny Rivera ended his spectacle, Sherley changed her opinion on his music. After all, she is one example of good young people remaining in Puerto Rico.

Activities like this was an excellent opportunity to ignite our Christmas spirit and become a happier country and uses an example for the next generations to demonstrate that the Puerto Rican Christmas spirit is important in our tradition and our own life.

 

Christmas in Puerto Rico is a highly anticipated season of the year. The Puerto Ricans enjoy the Christmas like no other culture in the world. Our Christmas starts after thanksgiving or earlier in November, which is the case for “Plaza del Caribe” and his lighting and ends in the middle of January making our Christmas one of the longest of the world.

 

 

 

 

Interview Question:

–       What you expected from the activity? Did you like it?

 

Interviewed people:

  1. Sherley Rodriguez
  2. Eduardo Llegus and Antonio Llegus (brothers)
  3. Dr. Carlos Gonzalez
  4. Elizabeth Guadalupe

 

Additional Sources:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Word count: 828

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