Christmas season is upon us in Latin America, where December is generally a slow month dedicated to family and festivos. Here in Bogotá, Colombians spent Tuesday celebrating El Dia de las Velitas by lighting candles to honor the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception. The nation’s second city, Medellín, is already lit up like few places on earth and soon the Novenas tradition begins, as the nine days leading up to Christmas feature nightly family gatherings with traditional food, music, and dance. In other locales — Mexico’s famed Posadas, “Nacimiento” nativity scenes in Quito, Misa del Gallo all over — the customs may be different. But it is a special time of the year throughout the region.