Some Venezuelan Christmas Mysteries

December 24, 2015

Arbolito

Ah! It’s Christmas. At last we can relax for a couple of days and think about nice things, enjoy family and toast to life!

So, while you are relaxing, I leave you with these Venezuelan Christmas mysteries, in no particular order:

-Why do hallacas have capers in them, if we don’t have them in Venezuela?

-Why did Chávez choose Maduro?

-Corolary: Why did Cabello not fight Maduro once Chávez died and later he staked his future on Maduro’s fate?

-Why do some Venezuelans follow Niño Jesus, others San Nicolas and then some Santa Claus?

-Does anyone who is not Venezuelan understand what Gaitas have to do with Christmas?

-And why are nacimientos (nativities) shrinking?

-And why do Venezuelans celebrate the night before Christmas and sleep and watch movies on the 25th.?

-And what’s the true story with the attempt to revoke 22 elected Deputies at the Supreme Court this week? Did it happen or not?

-Does anyone remember that people would paint their houses right before Christmas or was that a family tradition?

-Have you ever seen a “Furruco” factory?

-And why is midnight mass called Misa de Gallo (Rooster’s Mass)?

And on that note, Merry Christmas to all the readers. Thank you for reading, commenting and hanging on for so long. That Santa Claus, San Nicolas, El Niño Jesús (Yes!) brings you everything you wanted and don’t drink too much Ponche Crema (Or do!).

Best from the Devil!

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30 Responses to “Some Venezuelan Christmas Mysteries”

  1. Bruni Says:

    Miguel, LOL. Let me try to answer:

    -Why do hallacas have capers in them, if we don’t have them in Venezuela?
    The same reason we have pan de jamón with raisins. I guess it is the Spaniards that brought that flavor.

    -Why did Chávez choose Maduro?
    Because he did not think he was going to die and he felt that Maduro was the one that would not replace him, once he recuperated from his illness.

    -Corolary: Why did Cabello not fight Maduro once Chávez died and later he staked his future on Maduro’s fate?
    Tough one

    -Why do some Venezuelans follow Niño Jesus, others San Nicolas and then some Santa Claus?
    IMHO it depends on where they live (CCS or in the interior), how old they are and wether or not they have lived in the States.

    -Does anyone who is not Venezuelan understand what Gaitas have to do with Christmas?
    Not a chance

    -And why are nacimientos (nativities) shrinking?
    Space?

    -And why do Venezuelans celebrate the night before Christmas and sleep and watch movies on the 25th.?
    Because they like to drink and dance more than they like to eat. So they spend the night before Xmas, and rest the next day.

    -And what’s the true story with the attempt to revoke 22 elected Deputies at the Supreme Court this week? Did it happen or not?
    No idea, but I am not surprised.

    -Does anyone remember that people would paint their houses right before Christmas or was that a family tradition?
    A family tradition

    -And why is midnight mass called Misa de Gallo (Rooster’s Mass)?
    (I Iooked it up) because the Pope that proposed to celebrate Xmas at a Midnight Mass, asked that it had to be cellebrated “ad galli cantus”, which the romans considered was at the begining of the day, that for them was midnight.

    Felicidades!

  2. Bill Bass Says:

    In my childhood neighborhood kids would form aguinaldo singing groups come Christmas time , Gaitas were unknown as christmas songs in Caracas , then arround chirstmas 1962/1963 the Gaitas craze hit hard , everyone liked the happy beat of the gaitas , the newly formed singing groups took up the gaita as if it were an aguinaldo and went for it hard. Remember the furruco player in our group was a little cuban fellow just arrived from the island !! To me it was simple coincidence that Gaitas become known when christmas was starting that year.!!

  3. Ira Says:

    Weird:

    Did you know that an unopened bottle of Ponche Crema can go bad? Ours solidified in the pantry, like loose flan!

  4. Dr. Faustus Says:

    “Why did Chávez choose Maduro?” In Chavez’s mind, it was the LEAST important decision of his entire life. When narcissists are faced with their own mortality, everything becomes secondary and irrelevant. “Me? I’m dying? That can’t be right.” Why the other Chavista’s in power didn’t fight back at the choice of an illiterate former bus driver becoming their new leader is another mystery for the universe. Hard to comprehend. Haven’t any of them read Machiavelli?

    • Lee Kuan Yew Says:

      Chavez enormous Ego required a major chupa medias, a tonto-util, an unconditional halabolas. El Comandante Pajarito Eterno surrounded himself with incompetent, under-educated pets, who swore they would never betray him. That, and his family, of course.

      That way, even though he did not have much of an education either, Chabestia could dominate his environment, starting with a purged, corrupt military, then the rancid TSJ. That’s what dictators always do. They don’t surround themselves with dangerous talent, or higher minds.

      • m_astera Says:

        “That’s what dictators always do. They don’t surround themselves with dangerous talent, or higher minds.”

        What all narcissists and sociopaths in positions of power do. I call it the belle of the ball syndrome, e.g. a rather plain girl surrounding herself with ugly girls to make her look good in comparison. In a complex organization there will be some need for talent and skill, but those people will be kept at the lower echelons or controlled through threats.

        It should also be kept in mind that sociopaths have no conscience or remorse and actually take pleasure in causing harm to others. That is not “human nature” it is sociopathy aka psychopathy.


  5. Feliz Navidad, a ti Miguel y a los lectores de este magnífico Blog
    Javier

  6. CE Rodriguez Castellvi Says:

    Feliz Navidad para ti también.

    Saludos,

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  7. .5mt Says:

    Where’s the snow? I need the snow! Ima in TLH and turned in AC on. Make it happen devil or I send no monies. Oh, wait, never mind.

  8. FrankPintor Says:

    Gaitas? No, really, nobody outside of Venezuela could possibly understand how a weapon of war could be used as a harbinger of Christmas.

  9. mercedes atencio Says:

    Merry Christmas, Miguel, for you and your family. And thank you for your hard work. We don’t have capers but we don’t have olives, raisins and almonds as well. La hallaca es un mezclote de allá y acá!


  10. I can only reply to ONE of your questions: Misa de gallo is because it´s very early when gallos start to sing (sing? do gallos sing? I get mixed up….it´s 24th December….). Muchas felicidades, Miguel! No te vas a recordar de mi del IVIC pero si porque echéa perder la grama de tu finca con mi caballo….I

    • moctavio Says:

      Curiosamente, creo que se exactamente quien eres, solo conoci a una Helen en el IVIC que yo recuerde, amiga de los Wittenbury si mal no recuerdo.

      Ahora bien, sobre el gallo, no sabía los gallos cantan antes de la medianoche.

      Y sobre el caballo y la grama, me imagino por finca, te refieres a mi casa en Los Teques, en Los Picachos, detras de Club Hípico, nunca tuve una “finca”. Pero no recuerdo el incidente… 😦

    • captainccs Says:

      Some gallos sing

      the rest crow


  11. Same to you Miguel. Enjoy your holidays and thanks for keeping us so informed about realities in Venezuela. El destino will determine the future but I sure hope Venezuelans don’t have to keep suffering for too much longer.

  12. Mick Says:

    He chose maduro because he was the only crook who wouldn’t pull the plug until he was absolutely certain that he would not live. Any of the other crooks would have made power plays while Chavez was weak.

  13. Noel Says:

    Merry Christmas to you too Miguel, and thank you for writing this blog!

  14. Humberto Says:

    Hi Miguel,

    Chavez selected Maduro because he would be the one guy who would absolutely guarantee that people would miss the good old days when Chavez ran the country.

    That’s what being a narcissist, like Chavez, is all about.

    Have a great holiday Miguel. Hope to catch-up with you in the new year. All the best.

    • Ira Says:

      This is incredibly true, and it’s why…in the U.S. at least, employees voluntarily leaving their positions (for better opportunities) are not asked by management to assist in finding their replacement.

      They don’t trust the goodwill of their departing employee, because how dare they leave us to make 25 grand more a year?

      So isn’t this person, if we let him, hire a real loser–to make HIMSELF look so good?

      I worked for one of the best Madison Avenue ad agencies on earth. Actually, the best as far as treating their people as well. And when I moved from NYC to Florida 20 years ago, they DID trust me to hire (well, recommend) my replacement. And they hired him, and he was fantastic. And at the time, he was in his 50s.

      So yes. This often has a lot to do with making oneself look good by comparison…mistrust…and insecurity.

  15. Roy Says:

    Some mysteries are meant to remain that way. 🙂

    Merry Christmas Miguel. Thanks for all your hard work this year.

  16. ce h Says:

    The same to you Miguel..and keep the good work…with ANIMO CEHELLMUND

  17. RobertoN Says:

    Feliz Navidad Diablo!

    Que el Niño Jesus te traiga paz, amor y bendiciones.

  18. Kepler Says:

    Feliz Navidad, Miguel.

    Actually: Venezuelans have traditionally celebrated the Reyes Magos. Since the XX century US and non-Spanish influences have penetrated more and more , starting from the oil fields and communities around them and from Caracas.

    First the idea of the Niño Jesús got started – as an Ersatz for Santa.
    Then Santa came.

    I come from Valencia and families there keeping up Spanish traditions – no matter what social class they were originally- follow the Magi tradition.

    A Venezuelan with a name like Freddy or Richard is more likely – all things being equal- to follow the Niño Jesús tradition than one called José Miguel.

  19. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Merry Christmas!

  20. captainccs Says:

    El Niño Jesús brought my Xmas present on December 6th. a month early. My very best holiday greetings to all loyal Venezuelans and to Venezuela’s true friends.

  21. Raul Delgado Says:

    Happy ChristmasDevil!


  22. “Does anyone who is not Venezuelan understand what Gaitas have to do with Christmas?”
    Do Venezuelans? I certainly do not…
    Have not seen a Furruco factory, but I did met a Luthiers in Carora that made them…

  23. IslandCanuck Says:

    Have a merry Christmas Miguel

  24. Beatriz Brown Says:

    Thanks — Gracias — Los misterios de la Venezuela globalizada donde adoptamos costumbres de todos los que habitan (por ahora) en este bello y diversificado país. Deseándote todo lo mejor (perdona que te tutée, pero me parece que te conozco después de tanto tiempo leyendo y compartiendo tus
    interesantes opiniones e información). Un abrazo cibernético en estas Navidades y que el nuevo año nos vaya asentando en una verdadera y duradera democracia.


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