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This article includes a list of references , related reading or external links , but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations . Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (December 2016) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message )
For other uses, see Aguinaldo (disambiguation) .

Aguinaldo is a folk genre of Christmas music in several Latin American countries, based on Spanish Christmas carols or villancicos which is traditionally sung on Christmas itself or during the holiday season . Aguinaldo music is often performed by parrandas – a casual group of people, often family or friends, who merrily go from house to house taking along their singing.


  • 1 Venezuelan aguinaldo
  • 2 Puerto Rican aguinaldo
  • 3 Philippine aguinaldo
  • 4 Trinidadian aguinaldo
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Venezuelan aguinaldo[ edit ]

In Venezuela , aguinaldo is a genre of Christmas music and generally have six verses. Played by “parranderos” or “aguinalderos” that announce their arrival in song and seek to gain entry to the community houses to relate the story of the birth of Christ, and to share in the joy of the message of Peace on Earth and to all People of Good Will. Aguinaldos are played with typical instruments such as the cuatro (a small, four-string guitar), furruco , and maracas . Other instruments often used are violin , guitar , tambourine , mandolin , bandol , caja (a percussive box instrument), and marímbula (an Afro-Venezuelan instrument). In exchange for the entertainment, “parranderos” are traditionally given food and drink: hallacas , panettone , rum and “Ponche Crema” (a form of alcoholic eggnog ). Aguinaldos are also played at Christmas church celebrations.

Puerto Rican aguinaldo[ edit ]

Puerto Rican Güiro

In Puerto Rico , the aguinaldo is a musical gift offered during the Christmas season and is a tradition inherited from the island’s Spanish colonizers. As a musical gift, aguinaldos are mostly played by “parranderos” or “trullas” during the Christmas holidays. This is a practice that is slowly being lost. [1]

Originally, aguinaldos were ” villancicos ” with strong religious connotations but soon evolved to ” coplas ” (quartets) and “decimas” (ten-verses compositions) about all kinds of everyday topics. Aguinaldos were played with typical instruments such as the bordonúa , a tiple , a cuatro , a carracho or güiro , a cowbell , barriles de bomba , an accordion , and maracas . With bordonua players becoming more difficult to find, the guitar became a staple accompanying the cuatro. Today, panderos (also known as ” pleneras “), brass instruments and whatever makes noise, are used. [1]

As a genre, the aguinaldo is played mostly on the radio on key Christmas holidays in Puerto Rico; the day before Christmas and in Christmas, on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and the day before Three Kings Day and on Three King’s Day (January 6). Aguinaldos are also played at Christmas church celebrations. [1]

Philippine aguinaldo[ edit ]

In the Philippines , the word aguinaldo has come to refer instead to the gift—usually cash or coins—collected by small groups of children that go carolling . A traditional instrument used is a makeshift tambourine made of several tansan (aluminium bottle caps ) strung on some wire. Carollers solicit homeowners with the chant “Namamasko po!” (approx. “wassailing!”), and after singing wait to be rewarded with aguinaldo.

Trinidadian aguinaldo[ edit ]

Aguinaldo or Serenal is a music genre used in Parang (Parranda) a type of Christmas music that came to Trinidad and Tobago from Venezuela . Singers and instrumentalists (collectively known as “parranderos”) travel from house to house in the community, often joined by friends and neighbours family, using whatever instruments are to hand. Popular parang instruments include the cuatro and maracas (locally known as chac-chacs).

See also[ edit ]

  • Music of Puerto Rico
  • Venezuelan music
  • Trinidadian music

References[ edit ]

  1. ^ a b c Mason, J. Alden; Espinosa, Aurelio M. (1918). “Porto-Rican Folk-Lore. Décimas, Christmas Carols, Nursery Rhymes, and Other Songs”. The Journal of American Folklore,. 31 (121): 289–450.

  • Atlas de Tradiciones de Venezuela, Fundación Bigott , 1998.

External links[ edit ]

  • La Parranda Puertorriquena: The Music, Symbolism, and Cultural Nationalism of Puerto Rico’s Christmas Serenading Tradition
  • Espinosa, Juan (1984). Breve Prontuario en Torno a Nuestra Tradición Navideña
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      Translation Conjugation Vocabulary Grammar Word of the Day


      Christmas bonus


      masculine noun

      1. (extra pay at Christmas) (Latin America) 

      a.  Christmas bonus  
      Con el aguinaldo que nos han dado en el trabajo, puedo comprar una tele nueva.With the Christmas bonus they gave us at work, I can buy a new TV.
      b.  extra month’s pay at Christmas  
      El aguinaldo de este año no nos lo han pagado por falta de liquidez de la empresa.The company couldn’t pay this year’s extra month’s pay at Christmas for lack of liquidity.
      2. (money given at Christmas) 

      a.  Christmas money  
      De pequeña, mi abuela me daba un aguinaldo muy generoso.When I was little, my grandmother gave me quite a lot of Christmas money.
      b.  Christmas box  (United Kingdom) 
      Antes en Inglaterra era tradición dar el aguinaldo al cartero en Navidad.Traditionally in England people used to give a Christmas box to the postman.
      3. (music) (Latin America) 

      a.  Christmas carol  
      En Venezuela en Navidad, todos solíamos cantar aguinaldos tocando el furro.During Christmas in Venezuela, we all used to sing Christmas carols with a drum.
      4. (paper festoon) (Dominican Republic) (Puerto Rico) 

      a.  paper garland  
      El salón donde se iba a celebrar la fiesta estaba adornado con aguinaldos y globos.The hall where the party was to be held was decorated with paper garlands and balloons.
      Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.


      1. (propina) 

      a. tip given at Christmas 
      b. Christmas box (United Kingdom) 
      2. (paga extra) (Latin America) 

      a. extra month’s pay at Christmas 
      Copyright © 2006 Harrap Publishers Limited
      1 (propina) Christmas box; (plus) Christmas bonus
      2 (Latinoamérica) (villancico) Christmas carol
      Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011

      ‘aguinaldo’ in our machine translators

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