Christmas Along with the New Year are the most representative celebrations of December. What’s more, these are two dates that are highly anticipated by families, as they have traditionally been spaces to share and enjoy with loved ones.
On a general level, Latin American countries widely celebrate Christmas. Colombia, for example, stands out for the Christmas spirit of its inhabitants, who usually decorate their homes and carry out activities such as the popular Novena de Aguinaldos.
However, there is a country in the region where a story stands out that resurfaces every year and remembers how Christmas was “eliminated.” Well, the nation in question is Uruguay, where the separation between the State and the Catholic Church made changes that, after more than 100 years, are still maintained.
Since then, Uruguayan law does not recognize the Christmas holiday – or at least not under that name. December 25 is still a holiday, although it is called ‘Family Day’.
The same applied to other initially religious dates: Three Kings’ Day became Children’s Day, Holy Week is Tourism Week and Virgin’s Day is Beach Day.
Although it receives another name, there are Uruguayan families that do celebrate Christmas.
Do Uruguayans celebrate Christmas?
However, a particular scenario also stands out. A 2014 Pew Research Center study ranked Uruguay as the Latin American country with the most people without religious affiliation. Along these lines, festivities of this nature present a relatively lower participation when compared to other territories in the region.
In any case, although every year the story about how Uruguay “eliminated” Christmas becomes relevant again, the truth is that all of its inhabitants are no strangers to said celebration. On the contrary, it remains a special date and everyone commemorates it based on their beliefs.