Noche Buena, which means ‘the Good night’, is a Spanish term that refers to Christmas Eve. In many parts of the world like Cuba, Latin America, Spain and Philippines, members of the family get together over the dinner and celebrate.
As per the Cuban customs, the night is celebrated in the house. The family members get together and circle around the lech on or the pig roast. The entire body of the pig is hung over the fire, where it roasts for some time. Then it is served for dinner. However, apart from this, there are many more dishes and desserts served to the guest. People also play many games on this day. Most Cuban families in the US practice this custom even today.
In Spain, Noche Buena is celebrated by the entire family by having a meal together, which usually includes seafood and homemade soup. Later, desserts are served to all the members.
Latin America :
Apart from Christmas Eve, Noche Buena also marks the end of Posadas celebration. Again, people meet their loved ones over a dinner, which is usually followed by a midnight mass known as ‘Misa del Gallo’.
The celebration of Noche Buena in Philippines usually takes place after the family returns from Misa del Gallo. The dinner includes a number of scrumptious dishes like roasted chicken, rice cakes, pig roast, quezo de bola, adoba, rice, etc. later, deserts and beer is served to the family members.
In all these countries, the event is still celebrated with great enthusiasm. Since, it starts quite late in the evening, it lasts till late night. This is because, they believe ‘Esta noche es Noche-Buena, Y no es noche de dormir’, which, in Spanish, means that the tonight is made to celebrate; it’s a good night, not meant for sleeping.