Christmas in Ecuador

Christmas Day is a day of colorful procession as the Indians who live and work in the highlands and mountains dress in their finest and ride their brightly arrayed llamas down to the ranches where their employers live. They bring gifts of fruit and produce, which they lay before the image of the Christ Child in the pesebre, or manger scene, which is set up in the ranch house. Children also bring their gifts and make pretty speeches to the Holy Infant, asking blessings for their family and their animals. Then there is a fiesta with much singing and dancing outdoors. The owner of the ranch distributes gifts to all his employees and their families. The huge meal will consist of roast lamb, baked potatoes and brown sugar bread. There is always too much to eat, so that the processions that wend their way into the mountains at the end of the day are as heavily laden with leftovers as they were with offerings in the morning. more

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