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Traditional Cuban Christmas Traditions & Party Recipes

If you're thinking of having a Cuban style Christmas, plan on preparing a great deal of food. Noche Buena is the time that you will want to have a great deal of Cuban cooking to keep everyone satisfied.  Here we'll provide you with some details on how to throw a good Cuban Christmas party.

Typical Meals of a Cuban Christmas Eve Party


This includes the lechon asado (roasted pig), Moros y Cristianos (Black beans and rice), and plenty of Cuban cider to drink. The biggest tradition is to have a pig roast. The day before Christmas Eve, a pig would be selected, slaughtered, cleaned and would begin marinating for the cookout the roast the next day.


Drinks should include refreshing Mojitos and Cuban cider. Cuban eggnog, known as crema de vie, is also a popular Cuban Christmas beverage.


The main course should include a large roasted pig.  Most Cubans living in the U.S. will purchase an 80 pound pig (or 100 lbs to feed over 70 people) from their local butcher store.   Doing this the traditional way in your backyard can be a very big undertaking, but I found a website that sells a real-deal "caja china" (Cuban pig roaster).  Click here to see one of them available for sale on that website.


If you can't go to the trouble of a full backyard pig roast, you can also look up the recipe for a Roast Suckling Pig, it's only 10 lbs and can be cooked in your oven.  It's going to take a full 12 hours to cook, though, so you'll want to start preparing it first thing in the morning.

Along with the pork, you'll want to serve up Moros y Cristianos, the seasoned black beans over a blanket of white fluffy rice. You'll also want to have some Mariquitas on hand, fried plantain slices dripping with mojo sauce. You can conclude the meal with a delicous Rum Custard dish, as well as the Pudin Diplomatico, which is a Cuban bread pudding.

Cuban Christmas Decorations

If you're throwing a Cuban themed Christmas Eve party, take some suggestions from visitors to my site's forum. For the decorations, think about greenery, or hibiscus blooms. Bongo drums, maracas, straw sombreros (not Mexican sombreros and definitely no Mexican sarapes) add to the setting.


You may also want to have a Cuban flag, if one is available. Clothing should reflect the 1940's and 50's years; have men order guayaberas to wear. A nice touch would be some dominos in case anyone wants to engage in one of the most classic Cuban pastimes.

Lots of tropical fruits should be at the party: Coconut, pineapples, sugar cane, oranges, mangoes, mamey, and papayas. Hang up some vintage Cuban posters (you can find them on eBay, Amazon, or various Cuban shopping sites).

Cuban Christmas Music

While there is a great deal of contemporary Salsa or classic Salsa albums from Cuba that you could find, I think nothing would set the mood and tone of a Cuban themed party like a good Perez Prado compilation (or Benny Moré).

You've got the food, the music, the setting.  Now you're ready to throw your Cuban Christmas Party!



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