La Noche de Las Velitas is the official start of the holiday season in Colombia. It is a very special night in which families gather to light candles and lanterns in honor the Immaculate Conception. The festivities begins at sunset on 7th December and ends at sunrise on 8th December. People place paper lanterns and candles on their windowsills porches, balconies, streets, sidewalks, squares and parks.
Here is a video with more info!
In my 8th grade classes we do a unit on December holidays and focus on holidays in Colombia and Spain. We begin the unit by talking about holidays they celebrate and the first holiday we learn about is this one. One special video we watch is this Home Center video – it is a great video to build vocabulary and if you have higher level students talk about indigenous tribes, environment and giving back to the community.