Valentine jumps into the void

December, a month with ñapa

Almost a fifth of the twelfth month of the Gregorian year, December, so called because it was the tenth month on the Roman calendar. In it we enter winter, we celebrate the arrival of Christopher Columbus to Quisqueya, precisely on a day like today; the Independence of Núñez de Cáceres, the Immaculate Conception, the sermon of Montesinos; the birth of Jesus, Christmas Eve, Christmas, “sanctified” and the “little boy Jesus”; the Midnight Mass, of the “innocent butterfly” to commemorate the killing of children ordered by Herod, which we celebrate in a peculiar way, with “scary news”; the New Year, where hope flourishes and we focus our thoughts on what we want for the future that begins with the new cycle. The twelve grapes… and their meaning for marriageable women. In essence, a festive month where the Dominican tradition indicates that it is time to paint the house, to renovate, to “paint” new and to “train”; of gifts, cards, of food and drinks in excess, of “jumos” and “jarturas”, of friends who, like the musical Juanita, return to their homeland loaded with gifts and renewed happiness. Time of additional salaries, extraordinary expenses, unbalanced pockets and portfolio crises. They are moments of “cleansing” with incense to ward off the difficulties of the year that is ending and call luck for the one that is beginning, “jumera” that begins “behind the road, to throw the difficulty down the street.” It is the period where more money circulates and trade is exponentially energized; double salaries and royalties. Times of purposes and new intentions, of regrets and plans. Time of “harvest” of pickpockets and scammers, of abuse by drivers who double prices taking advantage of the urgencies to arrive. A season of multicolored Christmas trees and infinite decorations, of nativity scenes of all sizes, of static or dancing lights, of diverse figures from other latitudes that emerge in a tropical winter without snow and that are part of our fauna of Christmas festivities; “charamico” spaces, which today decorate and tomorrow fill trash cans because they are not kept. Also of “brisitas pacueras”, of teleras, Russian salad, turkey, “pork roast”, of lerenes, pandefrutas, manicongos (which no longer appear), leaf cakes, punches, fireworks with their luminous trails, deafening roars and beeps hallucinating, increasingly scarce due to the sequel of unfortunate accidents in the near past. Times are of indelible memories of childhood, with different celebrations and the same reasons, more austere, but just as intense as these, when apples, grapes and pears, along with almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts and pork in puya, were synonymous with Christmas, just like “the flower of pácua”. Life accelerates with the chords of the music of this time and the cadences of all the seasons together, to remember the green hope in these times of exalted traditions and boisterous joys on the surface and even more, beautiful memories of those who already They’re not here.

The entrance December, a month with ñapa was first published on newspaper the caribbean.

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