Santa Wears Shorts in Santiago
For the uninitiated northerner, spending Christmas in Santiago can be a little odd. First, it is HOT. December 21 is the summer equinox and the temperature can heat up well into the 90s. There are no cookies in sight here; yuletide cheer comes from "pan de pascua" (Christmas bread) and a dangerously easy-to-drink alcoholic eggnog called "cola de mono" (monkey's tail). Christmas Eve is an all-or-nothing affair starting with a late dinner (9-10pm) and presents after midnight. On Christmas day, the parks fill with children riding new bicycles and families picnicking. While Christmas decor may depict Santa and snowy vision, let's be realistic. We all know that good Ol' Nick is wearing shorts and drinking a cold "schop" (beer) in this weather.
By Liz Caskey, AFAR Local Expert
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Plaza de Armas, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile
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