Puerto Rican Tradition - Parrandas
by Dr. Tekina-eiru Maynard (2000)
There are two flavors of Puerto Rican traditional Christmas music, the
beautiful religious themes brought to life in the Villancico and the Aguinaldo.
Villancicos can be traced to 14th Century Spain. Although Villancicos can
still be found in its truest form in the rural mountains of Puerto Rico, it
is the lively aguinaldo that holds a special place in Puerto Rican holiday
festivities on and off the island. A form of jíbaro (country) music,
aguinaldos are traditionally sung during parrandas, lively holiday
celebrations where carollers stroll from house to house singing joyful
aguinaldos and begging for pasteles (Puerto Rican tamales) and coquito
(Puerto Rican egg nog). Parrandas typically get larger as the night goes on
with the homeowners joining the festivities as the party moves on to the
next house. The fun continues on until the sun comes up.
References and Suggested Reading
- Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, "Puerto Rico Sings",
March 1984. (Sheet music of traditional songs arranged by Jose
Enrique Pedreira. La Boriquen~a, aguinaldos, Seis Chorreao, more.
Historical notes on the origins of Puerto Rican music.) [Music Book]
- See References and Resources
for additional suggested reading.
See Photo Album
for other past performances!
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For more information:
Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard
Puerto Rican Cultural Center
Cultural Center Address: 701 Tillery Street #13,
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