Target partner and host of Univision’s Primer Impacto Barbara Bermudo celebrated her first holiday parranda in Puerto Rico when she was only 10 years old.
“A traditional Puerto Rican parranda is when your family and friends surprise you by showing up at your home with delicious food and singing traditional folk music called aguinaldos. The impromptu party then moves from home to home, often ending late into the night. ”
– Barbara Bermudo
Today, the Miami-based mother of three has enjoyed countless parranda celebrations, and now knows to always be at the ready—decorations in place, food prepared—in the event that a spontaneous celebration breaks out.
With the holiday season well underway, we sat down with the “hostess with the mostest" to get the scoop on how she preps for the party:
What is your top tip for hosting a holiday parranda?
Always be ready, because Latinos, we know how to celebrate and throw a good surprise event. My first time hosting a parranda I was so excited I forgot some of the details, but in the end, it was the best ever. The key is to just embrace the surprise element and holiday spirit as you celebrate with your loved ones.
What types of decorations do you put up in preparation?
We put up Christmas lights around the outside of the house along with a nativity scene on the lawn. Indoors, we have a big Christmas tree that my older girls love to help decorate, and we transform our dining room table into a Christmas table with poinsettias. The Nate Berkus metallic leaf runner and the Threshold decorative JOY sign will be perfect additions this year.
What are classic foods you like to serve at a parranda?
I like to serve the traditional pernil asado (roast pork) alongside arroz con gandules (rice and peas), plátanos (plaintains) and pasteles (a Puerto Rican tamale). For dessert, we love flan de queso (a cheese flan) and templeque de coco (a coconut pudding dessert). I always make coquito, a traditional holiday beverage with coconut milk and rum, using a secret recipe my family loves.
What do you love most about parrandas?
It truly is an all-night event. The party goes on for an hour or two at one home and then everyone, including the hosts, leave to “parrandear” some more. The group continues to grow as they parranda at several houses throughout the night. At the last home, around 3 or 4 in the morning, the homeowner offers the traditional chicken soup called “asopao de pollo” and the party ends at dawn.
What makes this tradition so special for families?
Parrandas provide a special opportunity to make memories that will last for a lifetime while combining the aspects of our culture that we love: family, music and food. There is no doubt that all these celebrations are incredibly fun for my daughters, particularly my older ones Mia and Camila, as it’s an opportunity to get closer to family and enjoy the simple things in life. I’m really excited to introduce my baby daughter Sofia Andrea to her first parranda this year.
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