While Christians in the US whine about the non-existent ‘War on Christmas‘, in Colombia the Catholic Church appropriated this season several hundreds of years ago.
Here, they have a novena (a nine day prayer; from 16th Dec. to the 24th) with the following structure:
1. Christmas Carols.
2. Every Day Prayer (which is misnamed, as the others are also prayed on an every day basis).
3. Prayer to the Blessed ‘Virgin’ Mary.
4. Prayer to St. Joseph.
5. Reading the corresponding day consideration (the story runs over nine days, since god chose to incarnate all the way to the birth of Jesus in the manger).
6. Prayer to Baby Jesus.
7. The Joys (carol-style, short Christmas-jingles).
8. More carols.
All these Christmas-themed charade have become a booklet, the Novena de Aguinaldos.
If you are in the mood and have time to spare, check the Novena de Aguinaldos translated into English. You’ll see it’s all about submission and pledging blind obedience to god.
So, in case you were wondering, yeah, I didn’t bore myself to death during these nine days. I went to my relatives’ places and had little tiny nice family reunions up until they started with this superstitious ritual… then I’d turn on the TV and save me the torture; as I’ve said: I don’t attend any religious ceremony, not even Christmas ones.
In it’s defence, it can be said, it has become something more of a commercial, culinary and cultural tradition, but still, the religious background is something that bothers me and I won’t give into that. Wasting nine freaking days of my life to celebrate a fictional birth is not worth it.