Living in Paraguay, South America, a beautiful country bordered by Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina, Adriana and her four children Giuliano (17y), Mauricio (14y), Mateo (10y) and Bárbara (2y) enjoy a tropical Christmas. In December average temperatures are around 23°C to 29°C (73°F to 84°F) so the country enjoys a warm and sunny holiday more than a white winter one.
Christmas is one of the most celebrated moments of the year! All the houses, stores and streets are embellished with Christmas ornaments! People get extremely enthusiastic and host many parties! Adriana tells us more about it in her own words.
Our most typical decoration is La Flor de Coco or Coconut Flower. This beautiful flower has a wonderful aroma bringing a divine smell to our homes. We associate it with the spirit of Christmas.
As Christians, we set up mangers and like to decorate them with varieties of tropical fruits characteristic of the region. Our typical nativity scene figures are handcrafted and made of clay!
Some of them are beautifully dressed with fabric too!
Like most countries, we also enjoy setting up a Christmas tree in our home. We use typical green and gold ornaments.
Although the main event is the birth of Jesus, we also believe in Santa Claus and wait for him to come with presents. We celebrate and open the presents on Christmas Eve, on the 24th of December late at night. The next day, we gather with our family and enjoy a lovely lunch.
The Chipa guasu or Chipa guazu is our most famous side dish with the Paraguayan Soup. Chipa refers to corn cakes and guasu means big. It is often served with meat. We usually eat it warm but it can be eaten cold too. To explain it in a simple manner, it is a salty corn and cheese soufflé.
HOW TO MAKE CHIPA GUASU
Ingredients : 1 Kg of corn (corn in grain) 6-8 ears approximately • 1 large or 2 small onion • oil to fry the onion or 1 tablespoon of butter • salt to taste • 5 large eggs or 6 small 1/2 cup of milk or curd (cut milk) • Fresh cheese to taste (350 grs approx)
In a frying pan, fry the onion cut into julienne strips in oil or butter, add the salt and once the onions are transparent, remove from the stove and set it aside. In a blender or processor, blend the corn with a couple of eggs and a splash of milk. (As it is a kilo of corn, I don’ do it all at once, but split it into two or three times).
Once processed add to this mixture the cooked onion and mix with the crumbled cheese and salt. Pour the preparation into a greased baking pan (you can also use oil) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 ° C for about 30 - 40 minutes.
As for our outfits, since it is very warm, we like to dress up but prefer very cool light clothes with short sleeves!
We attend several fun Christmas events indoors and outdoors too! We love it!