Puerto Ricans usually put up their Christmas trees and decorations by Thanksgiving and don’t take them down until mid-January, so the island feels especially magical during the holiday season. With town squares and houses lit up with Santa Clauses and snowflakes as well as local designs like jibaritos, Puerto Rico turns into a tropical winter wonderland where every corner is a photo opportunity.
The eight days after Three Kings Day are known in Puerto Rico as las octavitas, an extension of Christmas were people keep throwing parties and going on parrandas. Originally, the octavitas were parties of a religious nature and were used to glorify the Magi and Jesus with songs. Usually, this period ends with Puerto Rico’s most vibrant and colorful festival: las Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián or la SanSe. This music-filled cultural jubilee marks the official end of the holiday season.