Venezuelan Christmas: Mass on Skates

Venezuelan Christmas, Venezuelan Christmas: Mass on Skates, The Travel Bug Bite

If you’re been following this blog, I doubt Christmas tradition will surprise you anymore. Venezuelan Christmas isn’t complete without skates. The capital city of Venezuela, Caracas, sees thousands of participants for this festive, fast-paced mass.

“Venezuelans are known for their love of fireworks and Christmas is no exception – residents awake to the sound of firecrackers exploding in the street, adding to the peel of church bells.”


Around 70% of the population is catholic but their culture is influenced by many countries and beliefs. This is reflected in their celebrating of Christmas by combining mass with something as carefree as roller-skating.

Why Roller Skates?

It is believed that roller skates are used as an alternative to skating. Since Venezuelan Christmas temperatures rarely fall below zero, sleds are not as practical as wheels.

“As legend has it, children go to bed with a piece of string tied round their toe and the other end dangling out of the window. As skaters roll past, they give the string a tug and children know that it’s time to, well, get their skates on.”


Venezuelan Christmas Traditions

Christmas celebrations begin on December 16th in Venezuela. People begin celebrating by attending masses in the morning. These happen every day from December 16th until December 24th.

Families often repaint their houses before the festivities to represent a new year and a fresh start. Houses in Venezuela are often painted in bright and happy colors. People also display large, hand-crafted depictions of the Nativity story.

More recently, Venezuelan Christmas also includes Christmas lights and artificial trees. Since there are no native pines, it is cheaper to use plastic trees than import the real thing. Similarly to the Czechs, Venezuelans believe that baby Jesus delivers the gifts instead of Santa Clause.

You can read more about fun Christmas traditions from all over the world by following The Travel Bug Bite. Every day in December, I will have a new Christmas-themed post.

Venezuelan Christmas, Venezuelan Christmas: Mass on Skates, The Travel Bug Bite

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