Culture and traditions

Venezuelan traditions and customs: when and where they are celebrated

Venezuela is a country with an important number of traditions, which vary depending on the region. In this article, we tell you what are the most important customs and we inform you when and where they are celebrated. Some of them may be rare for other cultures.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Childish games

In Venezuela we find numerous traditional games for children. One of them is the stick taught, in which a post about five meters high is greased. Participants have to climb to get the prize that is at the top.

The metras or you click They are small balls of clay or colored glass with which you compete in different ways. One of them is to try to introduce the metras in holes.

Another exercise is that of Rhodes. The boys and girls shake hands and form a circle. They dance and sing typical songs, like Rice pudding wave Sea viper.

On the other hand, there are various gadgets with which the little ones entertain themselves. One of them is the whirligig, formed by a ball or head that must be put in the base. Both parts are joined by a rope.

Also typical is the gurrufio, which can be done manually with a tin, wood or plastic sheet. This part is crossed with a string, with which you try to spin. It has an age of about 400 years.

Christmas is a very important time in Venezuela. You can not miss the cribs, representations with figures of the birth of Jesus, and the little tree, as the Christmas tree is known. The most prominent musical styles are the aguinaldos and the parrandas.

Likewise, in each State they have different traditions. The first Sunday of December, in Aragua and Carabobo, the Dance of the Shepherds of the Child Jesus. A mass and procession is carried out in which the dances and music are not lacking.

As of December 24, in Tachira, Mérida and Trujillo, the Paradura of the Child. A parade in which they walk a great figure of the Infant Jesus in a silk scarf. In some villages they hide the figure for three days, an act known as Theft and Search for the Child.

December 28 is the Day of the Holy Innocents, which in Mérida, Trujillo and Portuguese translates into Crazy and Local Party. In it, people disguise themselves by reversing the roles (women in men, children in the elderly …). In Lara, Zaragoza, a procession takes place.

On December 31, the New Year is celebrated. To do this, in Táchira and Mérida they burn a doll called Old year. It is also typical to eat twelve grapes and go outside with suitcases to attract good luck.

The wise men They arrive on January 6. Therefore, during the previous night, children leave their shoes at the door, because they expect the Kings to leave their gifts here.

Food and culinary habits

If we start with the most typical dishes of Venezuelan cuisine, we find bread with ham. It is made at Christmas or Christmas parties. It consists of a sweet dough stuffed with ham, bacon, green olives and raisins. Another Christmas food is the hallaca. It is made with corn dough and banana leaves.

Since the nineteenth century the country consumes Creole pavilion. Its main ingredients are white rice, meatloaf, beans or black beans and fried plantain.

The staple food is arepa, which comes from the natives. It is used as a companion in most of the meals. It is a dough made of cooked and ground corn.

As for eating habits, most citizens perform three meals up to date. A large amount of meat is consumed, especially beef, charcuterie and chicken. Milk and coffee are two basic drinks on a daily basis.

Indigenous culture

Currently, more than 30 aboriginal ethnic groups continue to live in Venezuela. One of them is that of waraos, which live in the Orinoco Delta. Its main resource is the moriche, a plant used in food, housing, decoration and clothing.

They have two types of housing. The palafitos, which are built on wooden platforms along the river, and the morichaleras rancherías, which are found inside the jungle.

The wayuu They are located in the northwest of Venezuela, in addition to Colombia, in an area known as the Guajira Peninsula. In this tribe, when girls go to adulthood, they are locked in a room isolated from their family and prepared for their new role as women.

The Yukpa, like the Wayuu, are located in the Zulian region. His ancestors emigrated from the Amazon. This ethnic group is formed by isolated settlements. Its main food is corn.

If you want to know more about the aboriginal tribes of Latin America, we recommend you read this article: Ethnic groups of South America and their characteristics.

marriage and family

In Venezuela, most weddings are celebrated by the Church, although there is also the possibility of marrying civilly. After the ceremony, a reception is held.

To the banquet An important number of guests usually attend and abundant food is served. Traditionally, the couple opens the dance with a waltz. Then the assistants accompany them.

Within the family, the two parents, and even the children, work outside the home. Women also tend to take care of home and children, sometimes becoming overloaded with responsibilities.

Naval world

An important part of the territory communicates with the sea and, therefore, we find various naval traditions. For example, when a ship crosses Ecuador, the part of the crew that has passed it for the first time is baptized.

If a Marine Officer marries, a toast is made with a drink known as Bomb, since it is a mixture of different alcoholic beverages. In addition, a corridor with crossed sabers is made, which symbolizes honor and respect.

An important piece of ships is the Bell, since in ancient times it was used to mark the changing of the guard, the end of the working day and the rest hours of the sailors.


The predominant religion is Catholicism and is part of the life of Venezuelans. An important date is Lent, which lasts forty days. It has been celebrated since the fourth century and is a preparation for the Easter.

On Sunday before this date, the procession of the Palmeros de Chacao. It consists of climbing the Ávila mountain to collect the palms that will be used on Palm Sunday.

On Holy Wednesday, the Nazarene is celebrated, in which the inhabitants dress in purple and go in procession to the church. On Good Friday, the tour goes through seven different churches.

In some States such as Vargas, Guárico, Miranda and Cojedes, the festival of the Yare's dancing devils, which is a World Heritage Site. Participants disguise themselves as devils and walk the streets. It is a representation of the victory of good over evil.

In ancient times

There are some traditions of the past that have already been lost. For example, in the Colonial Venezuela and feudal, the upper classes organized gatherings in which music was heard and danced.

People also met at the end of the day in the courtyard of a house, where they drank mate, a type of infusion. The one of the men prepared bitter, while the one of the women was sweet.

We also found influences from other countries. In the nineteenth century there was the French culture. It is in the twentieth century, at the time of the rise of Petroleum, when they transcend American activities such as baseball or movies. In addition, at this time, the agricultural tradition decreases, because coffee is no longer the main export product.


Carnival takes place between February and March. The activities organized around it are also known as Shrovetide. The typical musical style of these dates is the calypso, although salsa and zamba are also heard.

It is a very important party for the inhabitants of the country and one lives with a lot of passion. Some of the states in which it has a great impact are El Callao, Anzoategui or Sucre.

In Puerto Cabello, Carabobo, it has been celebrated since 1871. The last act is the Burial of the Sardine. In this one, a pork rib was buried before, which symbolized the prohibition of eating meat during Lent.

In other areas such as Carúpano you can not miss the parades full of floats and parades. The costumes are usually colorful and cheerful. You can also see the typical costumes of Venezuela.

Society and culture

The society of this territory is a mixture of indigenous, African and Spanish cultures. Therefore, customs are very diverse. At the time of greeting, there is a handshake or a kiss on the cheek. It is also rude to point out.

As for the folklore of the country, dances are abundant. One of them is the joropo. This dance comes from the 18th century and has influences from the Spanish fandango, so it is mestizo. The joropo figures are the waltz, he brush and the zapatiao.

Another representation of the area is the burriquita. In it, a man disguises himself as a woman and places a structure that resembles a donkey. The interpreter dances and imitates the sound of the animal.

Venezuelan culture has had such an impact that even dolls called Barbie Venezuelan Traditions and Barbie Llanera, which refers to the Los Llanos Region.

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