Puerto rican traditions and customs: Culture and Customs of Puerto Rico • ABC-CLIO

Culture and etiquette in Puerto Rico | Local customs in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a curious blend of Spanishtradition, dynamic criolloculture and recent Americanization. Most Puerto Ricans are broadly familiar with mainland US culture and behaviour, and you are unlikely to face the cultural misunderstandings that sometimes occur, for example, in rural parts of Mexico or South America.

Vestiges of the island’s conservative roots do remain, however, and it pays to maintain a degree of friendly formality when meeting people for the first time – being polite and courteous is always a good idea. When it comes to bars and restaurants (unless on the beach), Puerto Ricans tend to dress up, and men with shirt-tails hanging out are regarded as a bit scruffy. Many restaurants and casinos have dress codes, although women tend to be treated more leniently than men. The Catholic Church remains very important, so always be respectful when wandering around churches, especially during Mass. Locals are generally tolerant of foreign visitors and will only approach you if you are making lots of noise, but it’s best to dress conservatively (no shorts or bare shoulders).

Above all, Puerto Ricans are extremely sociable, family-oriented and friendly people. As a traveller, especially if you stay within the main tourist zones, that last quality may not always be apparent, but attempting to speak a little Spanish will go a long way. One of the things that makes Puerto Rico such an easy place to visit is the abundance of English-speakers – in fact, the vast majority of Puerto Ricans can understand basic English, though only those in the tourist zones speak it every day. Nevertheless, language is an important element of Puerto Rican identity, so trying to communicate in Spanish will yield far better results than assuming that a person understands inglés – you might end up speaking English anyway, but your efforts will still be appreciated. for more on language.

Gay and lesbian travellers

Puerto Rico is something of a trailblazer for gay rights in Latin America, making it a burgeoning holiday destination for gay travellers, especially the Condado and Santurce areas of San Juan. San Juan’s gay pride events run for a week in June, with parties, fashion shows and art exhibitions culminating in a parade through Condado attended by thousands: the annual gay pride parade in Boquerón also attracts huge crowds.

Other parts of the island, too, are refreshingly open-minded when it comes to gay travellers. In areas such as El Yunque, Vieques, Fajardo and Boquerón, where many guesthouses are run by liberal US expats and easy-going locals, gay couples are welcome. You can even find a list of gay-friendly hotels at wpuertoricosmallhotels.com. For more information visit the directory at wwww.gaysanjuan.com to get the latest on what’s going on. For info on Vieques, visit wwww. gayvieques.net.

Women travellers

Women travelling alone are perfectly safe in Puerto Rico, and although gender roles remain traditional, the island has a strong record of fighting sexual discrimination. In fact, Puerto Rican women often display a degree of self-confidence and independence that many overseas female visitors find liberating. Machismo still exists, but it’s not as prevalent as in other Latin American nations, and in the cities you’ll see plenty of single women out and about – the worst you’ll get is the odd catcall or beep of a horn. As always, things are a little more conservative in rural areas, but if anything, locals tend to be overprotective rather than critical of single women travellers. As anywhere, the usual precautions apply; take extra care when out in the evening and, if solo, avoid local bars late at night; take reputable taxis to get around San Juan; and avoid empty streets and deserted beaches if you’re on your own.


In March 2007 smoking was banned in all restaurants, bars and casinos in Puerto Rico. Smoking on terraces or in outdoor bars and in cars carrying children under 13 is also prohibited, making this the Caribbean’s most stringent anti-smoking law by far. On-the-spot fines start at $250 for the first offence, rising to $500 and $2000 thereafter.


Given Puerto Rico’s ties with the US, it’s no surprise that tipping is an important part of life on the island and often an important source of income, especially for waiting staff in San Juan restaurants, where a tip of fifteen to twenty percent is expected – unless you’ve had unusually bad service, anything less will be received very poorly. In local cocinas or bars in smaller towns and villages tips are not so common – never tip in fast-food or self-serve buffet restaurants. Porters generally expect $1 per bag, and maids $1–2 per day in posh hotels (ask the reception at other places, and leave the money in the room when you check out). Taxis get ten to fifteen percent, though this isn’t as rigorously adhered to.

Puerto Rican Funeral Traditions, Customs, And Beliefs

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Puerto Rican funeral traditions and customs are deeply rooted in the cultural beliefs of the island. These rituals have been passed down for generations and reflect a reverence for life, death and spirituality. Death is seen as a natural part of life that should be honored with respect and tradition. Understanding these practices can help families organizing or preparing to attend a funeral in Puerto Rico or a Puerto Rican funeral in the U.S.

Puerto Rican beliefs about death

Puerto Ricans have a unique view of death and its place in life. Death is seen as an inevitable part of the cycle of life, something to be accepted and respected rather than feared. They believe that when someone dies, their spirit lives on, and it’s important for them to honor the deceased by paying respects at funeral ceremonies. It’s also believed that a person’s life will be remembered fondly and their death celebrated as the beginning of a new journey.

A Puerto Rican funeral is a time for remembering the life of a loved one, where grief, joy (for the deceased’s soul going up to heaven), and other emotions are all encouraged and accepted. During the funeral, family members and close friends will often share stories about the deceased to honor their memory. Puerto Ricans also believe that after death, a person’s spirit can watch over them from heaven and protect them from harm.

Puerto Ricans believe that even after death, the dead will know if the living are still honoring and remembering their life. This is partly honored by lighting candles for seven days after the death of a loved one to let them know that you are thinking about them.

Puerto Rican funerals, traditions, and customs

When a death occurs, preparations for the funeral begin immediately. The order of service typically involves a wake, a funeral service, and a prayer period that those close to the deceased practice.

The wake

A wake is typically held the night before the funeral and is sometimes even held all-night. Attendees are welcome to stay as long or as short as they’d like. At the wake, friends and family will gather to pay their respects to the deceased. This is a time for people to share stories about the departed, light candles in their honor, and pray for them.

The funeral service

Funeral services typically follow Christian traditions, since 69% of the population of Puerto Rico identifies as Christian. The funeral service usually takes place at a church and is attended by family members and friends. The service includes prayers, readings from scripture, and music in honor of the deceased. Mourners may also take photos of the deceased as a part of documenting their life’s history.

Standing funerals

Standing funerals are growing in popularity at Puerto Rican funeral services, which involve embalming the deceased and having them attend their own funeral. This practice is also referred to as «extreme embalming» and involves embalming the deceased and posing them in a way that mirrors what they did in life. This unique tradition can also sometimes only take place during the viewing, instead of having the body in a casket.

Day of the dead

Day of the Dead is another tradition that Puerto Ricans celebrate to honor their dead. This day is typically celebrated on November 1st and 2nd and involves gathering with family, singing traditional songs, eating special foods, and offering prayers in memory of those who have passed away.

What do you wear to a Puerto Rican funeral?

Mourners traditionally wear dark colors to Puerto Rican funerals, such as black or navy blue. Women may also wear headscarves or veils, depending on their own beliefs and comfortability.

Should I bring flowers to a Puerto Rican funeral?

Bringing flowers to a Puerto Rican funeral is not mandatory, but it’s a nice gesture and is generally appreciated by the family of the deceased. Flowers are typically placed on or around the casket of the deceased during the funeral service.

Are there other gifts I should bring to a Puerto Rican funeral?

In addition to flowers, mourners may also bring other gifts to the funeral such as food or desserts that are traditional in Puerto Rican culture. Other popular items to bring include religious artifacts and candles. You can also bring an item from the patron saint of the deceased’s hometown by asking which patron saint their town honored (each town in Puerto Rico has a patron saint).

Can Puerto Ricans be cremated?

Yes, cremation is a possible method of disposition in Puerto Rico, even though it was traditionally discouraged. Puerto Ricans used to believe cremating a body could prevent the soul’s entry into heaven; this belief has since changed and now modern Puerto Ricans opt for cremation as a method of disposition.

The passing of a loved one can be a difficult time, but the meaningful funeral customs of Puerto Rican culture can provide comfort and peace. Knowing these traditions is important for those attending a funeral in Puerto Rico or a Puerto Rican funeral in the U.S. You can honor the life of your loved one with respect and dignity through these cherished practices.

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Funeral customs

Last updated November 30, 2022

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traditions of America by country 🥇 ru.versiontravel.com

America is a vast continent in which each country has its own cultural traditions. As a result, we find a set of American customs that have survived over the years. In this article we will talk about the habits of some countries in this territory.

Below you have an index with all the items we are going to cover in this article.


  • 1 Central America and the Caribbean
    • 1.1 Gvatemala
    • 1.2 Puerto Rico
    • 1.3 Honduras
  • 2 North America
    • 2.1 We
    • 2.2 Mexico
    • 2.3 Canada
    • 93 3.1 TRADILY 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 Brazil Brazil 9000 9000 Brazil Brazil. 3.3 Argentina

    • 3.4 Ecuador
    • 3. 5 Venezuela
    • 3.6 Peru

Central America and the Caribbean

In both Central America and the Caribbean we find some of the most original traditions people who have never been to these territories.


November 1 in Sampango and Santiago Sacatepéquez, two small Guatemalan municipalities, Giant Kites Festival , Giant tissue paper kites that take months to make are thrown into the sky.

This tradition arises from the belief that on this day the ancestors return to the world for 24 hours, so it is a channel between the dead and the living. In addition, they drive away evil spirits.

There is also a competition of different categories, in which the best models are awarded. Some of these kites reach up to 10 meters and their color is amazing to all who witness this tradition.

Puerto Rico

The situation in Puerto Rico is complex because, despite being in the territory of the island or Isthmic America, in the Caribbean, it has belonged to the United States since 1898.

On this island we find a mixture of African, Spanish, indigenous and American traditions, which is reflected in their parties. For example, Christmas begins on November 23 for them.

At this time it is common to sing parrandas a kind of Christmas carols played early in the morning in the homes of family and friends. Because it comes without warning, this action is known as Christmas Storm ,

Also, in addition to the celebrations held in other places such as Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, etc., in the Charcas area, in Quebradillas, Gibaro Festival , in which visitors wear a typical Puerto Rican costume.


Among the most common religious traditions in Latin America we find Holy Week, which is celebrated in April. In Honduras on these dates Sawdust carpet ,

These carpets are made from materials such as sawdust, seeds, flowers, etc. and represent scenes from the Bible and the life of Jesus. They are placed on the main streets along which the procession will pass.

Although now associated with the Christian religion, prior to the colonial era, the natives had already established this type of craft as a cult to their gods. At 19In 63 the tradition was renewed.

North America

North American traditions vary depending on the country we are in, although some stretch across borders.


At the present time we still find Native Americans or American Indians . Among the most famous tribes there are Sioux who perform the Sun Dance Rite for the sake of which they seek purification in the summer. In the past, this act has become quite violent.

As for the eating habits of Americans, they eat a lot of fast food accompanied by sauces such as ketchup a fact related to the problem of obesity in the country. However, young people are more aware of the importance of a healthy diet.

American weddings typically have a white dress and bouquet. In addition, in the south of the country it is customary to hold outdoors. To prevent rain, a month before the ceremony, they buried a bottle of whiskey, which they unearthed on the day of the wedding to share with the guests.


One of the most famous Mexican traditions is the interpretation of Mariachi music. This is represented by at least two musicians who sing popular songs accompanied by stringed instruments. Guadalajara hosts an annual International Meeting of Mariachis and Charrerias, in which national and international groups operate.

One of the most important holidays in the country is Day of the Dead which is celebrated between November 1st and 2nd. On these days, cemeteries are visited and sacrifices are made to the ancestors.

During the nine days before Christmas, Posadas are celebrated, which remind us of the journey José and Maria made to Bethlehem. Various events are organized on these dates, including breaking piñatas.

If you want to know more about the traditions of this territory, we recommend that you read the following article: Mexican Traditions: The Most Important Customs of Mexico.


Another country in Anglo-Saxon America is Canada. Here, when greeting, shake hands and maintain appropriate physical distance. In addition, people are addressed by their last name unless they indicate otherwise.

October 31st is Halloween, when houses are decorated and costume parties are held. In addition, the children go home door-to-door saying the phrase Trick or Treat (Spanish Trick or Treat ), for which they ask for sweets in exchange for not performing a heavy prank.

In addition to those already mentioned, in this article you can find more Canadian customs: what are the main customs and traditions of Canada?

South America

The traditions of South America are of mixed origin and persistence over time. Next, we report on the customs of some Latin American countries:


Capoeira Brazilian martial art that began to develop in the sixteenth century. It combines dance, acrobatics and body expression. Its origin is connected with black slaves.

After slavery was banned, this fighting technique passed to the lower classes of the country, which led to its prohibition in the 19th century. However, thanks to the creation of Mestre Bimba School , it was legitimized and popularized. Although it was part of the oral tradition in the past, there are now a significant number of schools around the world. In this video you can see a demo:

On the other hand, Carnival in Rio de Janeiro This is the most outstanding party of the state. In it, Schools of Samba compete at the Sambadrome, which can accommodate 75,000 people. Each group presents their own show and wears unique costumes.


He Corridor This is one of the most important dances in Colombia. It originated in the 19th century and has European waltz influences. There are two different types: party and slow.

This country has many types of dances, each of which takes place in different areas. Here you will find the most outstanding: typical Colombian dances by region, from cumbia to joropo.

A special holiday is Day of Candles which will take place on December 7th. The streets are filled with burning candles. They symbolize the Immaculate Conception. This is the beginning of Christmas.


Among Argentinean traditions, drinking alcohol is the most common mate a kind of herbal infusion. It’s part of the country’s social customs because it’s a great gesture for Argentines to invite a person to kill him or share him.

Pachamama Festival This is a festival that may be rare for those who do not know it. This is an act in which holes are dug in the ground and food, drinks, coca leaves, etc. are thrown away.

This event aims to make an offer to Mother Earth and thank you for everything you have received over the year. It is organized in some areas of Argentina such as Salta, especially in mountainous areas.

During this act, holes are torn out in the earth, food, drinks, coca leaves, etc. are thrown away. Thus, the offer is made Mother Earth and you will be grateful for everything received in one year.


Among the various aboriginal groups of Ecuador Shuar , In it they accept sonoral marriage (marry spouse’s sisters) and levirate (with brother’s widow). Polygamy is also allowed for men.

As part of Christmas customs, the celebration of the New Year entails burning figurines . They are made of cardboard, old clothes, etc. and they are displayed on the street, so they even organize contests in some areas.

You can learn more about the customs of the country in this article: Customs and Traditions in Ecuador.


Cuisine in Venezuela is rich and varied. Among his culinary habits we find bread with ham, a typical Christmas dish. It is cooked with ham, bacon, green olives and raisins, ingredients that are introduced into the sweet dough.

Another popular dish is Creole Pavilion , which dates back to the nineteenth century. The products used to develop it are white rice, minced meat, black beans, and fried plantain. One of the habits of this population is to eat three times a day.

In the following article you will find other traditions of this country: Venezuelan traditions and customs.


The dance that is danced in the Andean region of Peru is zamacueca It has its origins in the 16th and 17th centuries. This is a couples dance in which both the man and the woman wear a white headscarf in their right hand. This is a combination of European and African American dances.

On the other hand, in Peru the development of crafts , whose designs were inherited from the pre-Columbian era. Among his various designs, fabrics with geometric patterns and mocked comrades ,

The latter are gourd fruits that are decorated with ancestral techniques. mocked comrades The oldest known 3500 years.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block “ Cultural Diversity “so you can continue reading:

Puerto Rico: El Muerto Parao or the “Standing Dead”

05 02 2020

a funeral rite that goes deep into the past . .. it may seem so at first glance, but funeral traditions, oddly enough, change over the years and evolve in accordance with the development of mankind, new trends in funeral fashion, innovations in the funeral industry and the individual tastes of a particular individual.

Exotic commemorations in Puerto Rico became a new hit of the funeral world: the dead, who appeared at parting in natural poses for a living person — standing, sitting, in their usual everyday clothes, with a cigarette or a glass of their favorite drink in their hand and even riding a motorcycle!

And this story began at the beginning of the 21st century, when a certain Puerto Rican Luis Pantoya Medina, when he saw his father in a coffin, as a child, said that he definitely did not want to appear before the Almighty in such a dull way. He had the opportunity to realize himself in an unusual sphere in 2008 — being killed at the age of eighteen and bequeathed to bury himself in a non-trivial pose, the young man appeared at the farewell ceremony standing, dressed in the latest American rapper fashion in his favorite Yankees cap. Relatives fulfilled the last will of the deceased and nailed his body in a corner to the wall for viewing by a crowd of condolences.

Inspired by this spectacle, other residents of Latin America began to repeat his unusual act. Many wanted to express themselves in such an extravagant way. So, 53-year-old Miriam Marie Burbank appeared at her disco-style wake, sitting at a table with guests, with a glass of her favorite beer and a cigarette. Relatives of boxer Christopher Riviera Amaro went even further and made a whole installation, placing the deceased in a stylized corner of the ring, as if it were a freeze-frame of a warm-up before the fight, and the athlete was dressed in boxing gloves and a mantle with the inscription «Thank you Lord», in which he entered the ring during his lifetime. Motorcyclist David Morales was put on his beloved Honda during his lifetime, which he even managed to bring into the farewell hall, decorated with ritual wreaths. For fans of the rap subculture, it will be interesting to know that the Puerto Rican music artist, nicknamed Kinki, wrote the song «Rest in Peace, my little brother» and captured the farewell of his friend, a desperate gambler, in his video, sitting at the last game of poker with relatives and friends.

Such an unusual appearance of the deceased at the wake gained its followers and in the state of Louisiana — Mickey Easterling — a socialite from New Orleans in 2014 appeared before her relatives in her best image, emphasizing her cheerful disposition during her lifetime — surrounded by incredibly beautiful ritual bouquets of fresh flowers , (representing her backyard garden, where the deceased loved to host), in a chic designer dress with a pink feather boa, holding a cigar in a mouthpiece in her left hand, and a glass of her favorite champagne in her right. More than a thousand guests attended the memorial service and unanimously noted that such a pompous and frivolous send-off is the best way to emphasize what Mickey was during her lifetime.

What drives all these people? Maybe a desire to stand out from the crowd, to posthumously get into newspaper spreads and at least thus leave a mark on history, or maybe just a desire to look less dull at your funeral, try to make your departure more relaxed, less formal and sad for friends, relatives and relatives, or how to “attend” at their funeral, not differing from the living either in a special position of the body or in clothing.

But how is it possible to give the dead such a lively look? Of great interest is the technique of performing embalming of bodies in non-standard poses — rigor mortis leads to stiffness of many muscles and fixes the position that a person has taken after death, and therefore it is very difficult to give the body at least a natural pose for a living person to look natural and elegant. and requires incredible skill and creativity of a specialist. Modern technologies allow you to apply makeup and make-up so that even skin color will look natural. The only thing that cannot be somehow visually revived is the look, so the deceased wear sunglasses.

The agitated public, as well as the great minds of the funeral industry, even tried to sue several incidents of such an unusual commemoration, but everything turned out to be purely from the point of view of the law. Legally, such an unusual type of embalming is not prohibited. This shook the foundations of the funeral business and caused a lot of unrest and moral criticism from the public.

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