On the 7th of December Colombia celebrates the Little Candles Night (also known as La Noche de las Velitas). It is celebrated on the eve of the Immaculate Conception, (the 8th of December) which is a holiday in Colombia. It is also the unofficial beginning of Christmas in Colombia. (The truth is that the very unofficial date in just after Halloween, when Christmas decorations appear all over the city 😉 )
On this day people place candles on the streets, in front of the buildings and parks. There are concerts organized in parks, Christmas markets and you can also find stands with delicious food. Families and friends spend this night together. Everyone brings a box of colorful candles and lights them in a place free from wind, which can be challenging. Some people simply sit by their candles and contemplate. Some other are enjoying wine, gaseosa (the name for any sparkling drink in Colombia) and have a chat with friends.
Sometimes the weather maybe tricky. Although the beginning of december it is the end of the rainy season, heavy rains can spoil the magical night. Once we were cought by a deludge on our way to friends´ place. We had to hide in a supermarket and wait. We tried to call a taxi but we weren’t able to. Sincé many people were suprised by the wall of water they were taking taxis instead of walking. Another year the weather for Little candles night was very nice. We spent it with other friends where the housing settlement organized a concert, contests and some plays.
As the night gets colder and colder and a strong wind blows the candles, it is the sign that it is time to go home. The 8th of December is a holiday.
The Little Candles Night is a beautiful Christmas tradition in Colombia. It is hard to describe with words how it looks like so have a look at the gallery.