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Nochebuena, often translated as "Good Night", is a Spanish word referring to the night of Christmas Eve. Custom in Spain, Cuba, the Philippines and Latin America, the evening consists of a traditional dinner with family.

The Cuban tradition is a family dinner centered around a pig roast, or lechón. The pig is often cooked in a "Caja China," a large box where an entire pig is placed above hot coals[citation needed]. The dinner features many side dishes and desserts, and often games of dominos are played. The tradition is continued by Cuban families in the United States.

In Spain, after a Christmas mass, Nochebuena tradition includes a dinner with family and friends. It is particularly common to start the meal with a seafood dish followed by a bowl of hot, homemade soup. It is also common to have desserts such as turrón.

In some countries of Latin America Nochebuena is also celebrated on Christmas eve and marks the final evening of the Posadas celebrations, in others a dinner is served with the family usually after attended the late mass known as "Misa del Gallo".

In the Philippines, this usually comes after the entire family has attended the late evening Christmas Eve mass or Misa de Gallo. Often on the table are: lechón, pancit, fried chicken, jamon, quezo de bola, arroz caldo, lumpia, rice and adobo among others for the main course. Desserts include ube halaya, bibingka, rice cakes, puto bumbong, ice cream, pastries and cakes; drinks include hot chocolate, coffee, soda, wine, beer, juice, and different kind of fruit juices.

In New Mexico, la Nochebuena is celebrated by lighting luminarias and farolitos.

Source: Wikipedia

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