Discover the traditions and festivities behind two beloved Hispanic holidays with Alma’s Way. A special two-part holiday-themed episode of the PBS Kids show will see Alma, a 6-year-old Puerto Rican girl living in the Bronx, celebrate Nochebuena and Three Kings Day with her family and neighbors. Take a peek at the festive fun that awaits with a snippet of the episode PBS Kids has shared exclusively with Romper.
In “Alma’s Nochebuena,” Alma and her family prepare to celebrate Nochebuena, which translates from Spanish to mean “the Good Night,” and falls on Dec. 24 or Christmas Eve. For many Hispanic and Latino families, Nochebuena is the biggest and most important celebration of Christmas. Of course, how families celebrate Nochebuena varies. According to Good Housekeeping, some may attend a special midnight religious service known as Misa de Gallo or “Mass of the Rooster.” Others may host large and elaborate feasts and some celebrate with music.
For years, Alma and her family have celebrated Nochebuena with the same three traditions. First, Alma and her younger brother Junior make an ornament for their Christmas tree. Then, Alma’s cousin Eddie plays his guitar and the family sings Aguinaldos, or Puerto Rican Christmas carols. And finally, the family gathers to watch Alma’s father turn on his animal light display.
This year, however, Alma’s family finds their traditions don’t go quite as planned. Instead, Alma must adapt and find new ways to celebrate Nochebuena with her family and neighbors. In the clip shared with Romper, Alma and her family take inspiration from how her Abuelo celebrated Nochebuena as a child in Puerto Rico by going on parrandas (the Puerto Rican version of caroling) and go from neighbor to neighbor singing Aguinaldos.
In the second part of the Alma’s Way holiday special, Alma and her family prepare to celebrate Three Kings Day, a holiday traditionally celebrated 12 days after Christmas. The holiday honors the Three Wise Men’s arrival in Bethlehem to see baby Jesus and often sees children like Alma and Junior receive gifts from the Three Wise Men. But when Alma discovers her brother hasn’t played with the gift she gave him for Christmas, she sets out to do a Christmas gift do-over on Three Kings Day.
Produced by Fred Rogers Productions and created by Sonia Manzano, the woman who played Maria on Sesame Street, Alma’s Way aims to guide children between the ages of 4 and 6 in learning to appreciate and respect others’ unique heritage and cultures.
The brand-new holiday-themed special episode of Alma’s Way will air on PBS Kids on Dec. 13.