Organized again this year by Alderman José G. Pérez, the Parranda was held on January 4 to share Puerto Rican holiday culture and music with the Milwaukee public.
Parrandas are musical festivities that traditionally take place during the holiday season. They are celebrated most commonly in Afro-Caribbean and Latin American countries, and parts of South America.
One of the most important holiday celebrations for the Puerto Rican community is El Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos, or Three Kings’ Day on January 6. Contrary to mainland American culture, the “12 days of Christmas” begins on December 25 and runs through January 6. It concludes with the celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, when the three kings visited the newly born Christ child in Bethlehem bearing him gifts. January 6 is recognized as the day when the manifestation of Christ’s glory was realized.
“The Parranda is the perfect way to share the holiday spirit, while also celebrating the diversity that makes Milwaukee so special,” said Alderman Pérez.
The Spanish word “parranda” translates to “party” or “musical procession,” and is similar to Christmas caroling. The Latin American musical group Caché performed for the City Hall event. The band is an exuberant Latin musical ensemble that has made a major impact on the Latin music scene across the midwest for more than 20 years.
This video segment features one of the musical performances from the event, with companion photos that share highlights from the festivities.