The holidays can be a bittersweet time for expats. On the one hand, it’s hard to celebrate away from family and your normal traditions; on the other, it’s an amazing opportunity to adopt some new ones! This being our second holiday season in Bogotá, I’m feeling a little like sophomore year—you know, you’re still relatively inexperienced but have lost a bit of that deer-in-headlights look of total bewilderment. Now that I have my holiday sea-legs, I was readily anticipating two December happenings, both of which are unique to Colombia: a visit to Expoartesanías and lighting candles with my fellow Bogatanos on Día de las Velitas.
Are you ready to hear about a cultural experience?!
In 1854 Pope Pius IX ruled that Mary (you know, Jesus’ mom) was also born of a virgin birth. People all over the world showed belief and solidarity in this idea by lighting candles and this tradition has continued in Colombia each year on December 7th, or Día de las Velitas.