Parranda

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Parranda(s)
Official nameParranda(s)
Also calledTrulla Navideña, Asalto Navideño
Observed byPuerto Ricans
TypeLocal, religious, historical
SignificanceCelebration of the Christmas season
CelebrationsMusic, food, drinks, dancing
ObservancesYearly
DateDecember, could spill into early January
FrequencyAnnual
Related toCulture and Religion
Music of Puerto Rico
Phoenix-Musical Instrument Museum-Puerto Rico Exhibit-Cuatro 1900-1915.jpg
A (c. 1900 - 1915) Puerto Rican Cuatro
General topics
Related articles
Genres
Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthemLa Borinqueña
Regional music

Parranda (English: party or spree[1]), (plural, "parrandas") are a Puerto Rican music tradition that takes place in Puerto Rico during the Christmas holiday season.[2] Also called asalto navideño (literally, "Christmas time assault"), parrandas are social events that feature traditional Puerto Rican music, food, and drinks. They are also known as trullas navideñas[3] and are associated with pride for the customs of the traditional Puerto Rican jíbaro. The traditional events have been likened to Christmas caroling, but the contents of the songs are secular rather than religious.[4] They are sometimes carried out in the evening, but most traditionally occur in the night, even into the wee hours of the morning.[5] The songs sung are almost exclusively aguinaldos.[6]

Planning and purpose[edit]

Parrandas are oftentimes spontaneous events and traditionally occur anytime from the late evening to the wee hours of the morning, visiting targeted extended family members or friends in their homes and intentionally waking them up to the parranda music. They reportedly generate a sense of Puerto Ricanness, unity and camaraderie among both those bringing the music as well as the targeted families receiving it.[7] Those participating, whether playing an instrument or signing, are called parranderos. Instruments used in addition to the voice include the culturally significant instruments of Cuatro, maracas, guiro, palitos, tambora, panderata, panderos (requinto, seguidor and tumbador), trumpet, tambora, and the guitar.[8]

Parranda "plot" and venues[edit]

One form how the event occurs is most traditionally as follows: A group of friends of the homeowner, musical instruments in hand, arrives at their target house sometime after 10 PM and then, quietly, make their way to the porch or as close to it as possible. The parranda leader (generally, their musical director) signals everyone to start playing their instruments and singing. The music and singing surprises the sleeping dwellers who get up, turns on the inside and outside lights and invites the "parranderos" into the house. Once in, they are treated to refreshments (most homes will be well-stocked with refreshments and Christmas-time traditional foods), and everyone eats and may also dance as parranderos take turns eating and playing the music. The party will go on for about an hour or two, after which, the residents will join the parranderos, with their own instruments if they have then, and move on to the next target residence. As the group grows, the group makes sure to leave for last those homes in which they guess there will be the most food available to support the growing group or, they simply head to the home of one of the parranderos which has already pre-arranged serving the last meal of the night - the traditional asopao de pollo, a Puerto Rican chicken soup. The party will generally be over around dawn, when everyone then wishes everyone else good-night and head to their respective homes to sleep.[9]

Associated events[edit]

Parradas oftentimes include a few minutes reciting bombas, improvised trovador-like musico-poetic compositions by the parranda participants intended to add fun and excitement to the parranda event.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The song by Gilberto Santa Rosa (featuring Tony Vega) titled Llegó la Navidad (Sony BMG Music, 2011 {Album: "Top Latino Navidad Volume 2"},UPC 886979550124), opens with "Llegó la Navidad, y las parrandas se oyen por doquiera..." (The Christmas season has arrived, and the parrandas can be heard everywhere...)
  • "La Parranda Fania" is a music album with Hector Lavoe, Yomo Toro and Daniel Santos. The album cover says "La Parranda Fania...A Gozar, A Bailar, A Parrandear" (La Parranda Fania...Let's Enjoy, Let's Dance, Let's Go on Parrandas).
  • Ivan Perez & Luis Rivera, have a plena song titled "Parrandiando Con Santa Claus" (roughly translated into "Going on Parrandas with Santa Claus"), published in 2002 under the label "Ivan Perez & Luis Rivera" (Album: "El Lechón Pasmao", ASIN B000QM4QVQ)
  • La Sonora Ponceña's song titled Aguinaldo Antillano (Fania Records, 1971, Album: "Rumbon Navideño", ASIN B0083L66AG), opens with "Esta es la parranda de los Antillanos..." (This is the parranda of the Antillean people...)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parranda. Encyclopedia Britannica. Merriam-Webster. Spanish Central. Accessed 11 May 2019.
  2. ^ Don Herminio: icono de la parranda. Sandra Torres Guzmán. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  3. ^ A Puerto Rican Christmas. El Boricua. 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  4. ^ A Puerto Rican Christmas. El Boricua. 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  5. ^ A son de diana unifican al barrio Tibes: La simpática parranda se repetirá este domingo, 29 de diciembre. Reinaldo Millán. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 26 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  6. ^ Parrandas: A Puerto Rican Music Christmas Tradition. Captain Tim. CaribbeanTrading.com 18 December 2012. Accessed 11 May 2019.
  7. ^ A son de diana unifican al barrio Tibes: La simpática parranda se repetirá este domingo, 29 de diciembre. Reinaldo Millán. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 26 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  8. ^ 9 Musical Instruments Used in Puerto Rican Parrandas. SpeakingLatino.com 2019. Accessed 12 May 2019.
  9. ^ A Puerto Rican Christmas. El Boricua. 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  10. ^ Cancionero para parrandear sin papelones. Brenda Ayala Berríos. 22 December 2014. Accessed 11 May 2019.

Further reading[edit]