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Home / Newsletter / Christmas in summer with pan de pascua & cola de mono

Christmas in summer with pan de pascua & cola de mono

Christmas will soon be here, and in Chile, like many other countries throughout the world, apartments, streets and shopping centres will be decorated for Christmas. There are Christmas trees (“árboles de pascua”) decorated with lights and ball ornaments, as well as cradles as a symbol of the birth of Jesus. But there is no “white Christmas” here. With summer beginning in the month of December, Christmas in Chile is marked by high heat, but this does not stop Santa Claus, here called “Viejito Pascuero”, from distributing Christmas presents – to be unpacked on the 24th at midnight or on the 25th in the morning. According to traditional tales, the Chilean Santa Claus – in full traditional Santa garb! – comes with presents through the chimney or windows.

On the evening of 24 December, the traditional Christmas dinner takes place, during which the whole family gathers to spend time together and share a delicious meal. Chicken or turkey and the sweet bread “pan de pascua” (Easter bread) are traditionally served. This “pan” is baked with candied fruit and nuts and is reminiscent of German Christmas stollen or Italian panettone.

The typical Christmas drink is “cola de mono” (monkey’s tail), a name that may sound strange to those who don’t know this drink. It is usually made from pisco, milk, coffee, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. The origin of the name is not known, though there are some theories. The best known of these is that the name goes back to the Chilean politician Pedro Montt, whose nickname was “Mono (monkey) Montt”. When the wine ran out at one of his election parties, a new drink was mixed from the mentioned ingredients, which became known in time and named “cola de mono”.

The travelArt team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020.

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