San Angelo Celebrates Christmas from Different Cultures
Many have been preparing for Christmas throughout San Angelo. The diversity of the community is seen in the many traditions practiced.
For the members of Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, the 12 days of Christmas will not begin until Christmas day.
Father John Afendoulis, priest of Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church said, “Where most of the the Western Christians celebrate the twelve days of Christmas before the 25th, we actually start on that day and continue through January 6th.”
Afendoulis said in order to prepare for Christmas the church began fasting on Nov. 15. During the fast, no meat, fish or dairy products are consumed.
Although the church was originally established by Greek immigrants, the majority of the current parishioners are not first generation Americans.
“We respect the culture of the country we are living in,” Afendoulis said.
He said they are allowed to break the fast during Thanksgiving in order to also celebrate the traditions of the country in which they live.
The Hope Church has become home for many Koreans in San Angelo. Yunhi Magal, a member of the what she calls the Korean Church, said the Korean community wants to also respect the customs of their new home.
“We are now in America, we will celebrate like Americans,” Magal said.
Although the traditions of South Korea are not too different from those in America, many of the members of San Angelo’s “Korean Church” plan on celebrating no differently than the rest of America.
“We will spend time with family, enjoy our time together and share meals,” Magal said.
She said the menu will reflect the culture from their native land as well as American food.
Christina Rico has been preparing for her pre-Christmas celebration by cooking tamales and menudo.
She said in her Mexican culture Las Posadas are held for the nine days prior to Christmas.
“It is a great way for us to remember what Christmas is all about,” she said.
Rico said she hosts Las Posadas for one evening at her house.
“Friends and family come, we have a small procession around the house where we reenact Mary and Joseph looking for a place to stay,” Rico said.
She said after the reenactment the guests stay and enjoy food, music and pinatas together.
With the an ever growing population and diversity of people, the holiday celebrations will continue to take place past Christmas. Tell us what your plans are and share your holiday traditions and customs with LIVE!
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