//“Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes
Paradura del Niño en los Andes Venezolanos

“Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes

“Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes – Article of the series:


The celebrations linked to Christmas with the birth of the Child God lead to other festivities in the month of January. In this sense, the “Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes is very important in the month of January.

This tradition is very beautiful and is celebrated in the company of the family, neighbors and friends.The “Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes consists of worship of the child Jesus with chants and carols. It is also customary to pray the holy rosary and burn fireworks, the latter has been introduced in recent years.

The ” Paradura del Niño” represents the moment when the baby Jesus gets up and walks.

It is worth noting that on many occasions the child Jesus is given a beautiful serenade in the parade.

Usually, this tradition takes place in the states Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo.

Paradura Niño. Tradición Mérida Venezuela.

Origin of Tradition: Paradura del Niño in the Venezuelan Andes

The different scholars who have taken care of the origin of this tradition coincide in that it was a legacy of the Spanish.

It was in this period that Catholicism and the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi were imposed. Indeed, to symbolize the arrival of the son of God to the earth.

In the case of Spain, it is called the Bethlehem and in the Venezuelan Andes it is called “Pesebre“.

It is worth noting that it was the Spaniards who left this mark in the Andean region. This thanks to religion and its cultural traditions.

The idea of doing the ” Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes is to begin the year of the hand of Jesus the son of God.

Many catholic churches of the Venezuelan Andes, set as a date for this festivity on February 2. Therefore, it coincides with the day of the virgin of the Candelaria.

"Paradura del Niño" in the Venezuelan Andes
“Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes

A beautiful tradition: the “Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes

The population of the Andean states such as Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo are of fervent Catholic faith. Therefore, a series of traditions are celebrated throughout the year, beginning with the Paradura del Niño.

It is worth noting that the traditions of Easter are also deeply rooted in the Andean population.

The Paradura del Niño in the Venezuelan Andes begins to celebrate after 25 December. But most common is that the majority celebrate them after January 1.

The tradition of the Paradise of the child Jesus, are made songs, prayers, rosaries. Also present are promises, sweets and fireworks.

The state where this tradition mostly prevails is in the state of Mérida.

Its celebration will depend on the state where it is held, because although it is common in the Andes region, in some places are usually with other variants.

Usually in the towns of the South and the Paramo Area this celebration is held on a high level. In this festivity, the presence of people singing to the rhythm of the violin, charras, four and the “bandola” is usually seen.

This celebration of the “Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes is held until February 2. This day the celebration of the Marianne of Candelaria.

Godparents walking the baby Jesus
Godparents walking the baby Jesus

Singing to the Bany Jesus and the Choice of the Godparents

When guests meet, four godfathers are chosen. These people wear a white tissue where they walk the child Jesus.

One of the verses mentioned in this procession is

“Sweet Jesus, my beloved child, come to our souls, come not so long, come to our souls, come not long” (“Dulce Jesús mío, mi niño adorado, ven a nuestras almas, ven no tardes tanto, ven a nuestras almas, ven no tardes tanto”)

The Andeans usually meet this habit with great faith in thanksgiving the Creator.

During the chants, the godparents and the crowd make the route with the image of the Child Jesus on the streets near the house.

There they accompany songs in honor of the child, until they reach the mangebre again.

Afterwards the holy Rosary is made, and the image rises –of the child Jesus- indicating that it is already on the stood-up. Then the present give a kiss to the image as a sign of worship and give a monetary contribution.

In some cases, people choose to make prayers sung. That’s why the prayers will be tuned to the rhythm of the four, violin and maracas

It is worth noting that this is an ancient tradition that continues to be carried out every year. Therefore, it goes from generation to generation maintaining the original essence that is the worship of the God Child.

Songs to the rhythm of violins and four in honor of the Child God
Songs to the rhythm of violins and four in honor of the Child God

The Robbery of the child Jesus, a mischievous tradition

This gracious tradition, is represented with the “robbery of the child Jesus” one of the people who attend steals the child Jesus. Then the person is discovered.

Later, the godparents are sought to perform the songs and prayer of the Holy Rosary.

He is also walking with the attendees who sing in the Paraduras. It is often that the verses of the songs vary.

At the end of the worship activity of the God Child is made the delivery of candy, cake. In addition, in some places give to the present cream punch, and food.

Gustavo Mirabal Castro along with his wife Carolina Chapellín and children enjoyed these celebrations when they traveled to the Andean region.

Meanings and interpretations of theft and the “Paradura del niño”

For some people, the theft and “Paradura” of the child Jesus is an excuse to celebrate the child God and share in community. However, there are several elements that can make us suspect that this tradition involves many more.

We must remember that the baby Jesus was lost in the temple the first time Joseph and Mary go to the temple with Jesus.

This is framed in the 5th joyful mystery and appears in chapter 2 of the Gospel of St. Luke. At that moment Mary and Joseph are neglected and Jesus disappears.

After an arduous search for 3 days, Mary and Joseph witness a crowd. There they find Jesus arguing with the doctors of the law, the high priests.

And everyone asked him and listened to him with great attention in front of the wise words that the little one already transmitted to them.

When questioned by Mary and Joseph Jesus, he answers: “Did you not know that I owe myself to my Father’s affairs?” It is the only event that reflects the life of Jesus during his childhood in the gospels considered canonical.

This event can be considered the precursor of the tradition of theft and the “Paradura del niño”. The baby Jesus is considered stolen, but is found standing and full of wisdom.

Thanks to this the community rejoices.

Another less biblical interpretation can refer to the time it takes a baby to take his first steps. This would reflect that Jesus was much more precocious than the rest and that in less than a month he stood up, showing part of his divinity.

And it is that the celebrations of the paradura of the child are carried out between the first of January and the second of February, day of the Virgin of Candelaria.

The “Paradura del Niño”, a tradition of the Venezuelan Andes


the “Paradura del Niño” in the Venezuelan Andes is a beautiful tradition that is celebrated with a lot of faith.Venezuela is characterized by many traditions, but in the Andean region one of the most highlight is this festivity.

So much importance is given to the Child’s Paradox that even educational institutions take place. That is why the institutions that go from kindergarten to universities celebrate it.

Gustavo Mirabal Castro is a man with a fervent Catholic faith who has enjoyed participating in this beautiful worship of the child God.