Watch CBS News

Philadelphia school brings back holiday tradition of caroling classrooms

Philadelphia school caroling classrooms
Philadelphia school caroling classrooms 01:55

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia elementary school is getting into the holiday spirit by bringing back a longtime tradition.

The sound of music filled the halls at the Honorable Luis Muñoz-Marín Elementary School as students went from classroom to classroom Thursday singing Feliz Navidad and El Burrito Sabanero, Spanish for the little donkey of Bethlehem.

"We are a primarily Spanish-speaking population here at Marín," principal Amanda Jones said. "We are almost 35% ELL students as well. A lot of our students come from Honduras, from Dominican Republic, from Puerto Rico, so I'm really intentional around celebrating our culture."

Celebrating their culture with parranda, a Puerto Rican version of caroling.

What started as a small group of students singing got larger as children from every classroom joined in until the entire school was performing together.

"You go to somebody's door and you start singing loud music, and you keep doing it again, and it's fun because the instruments that you play," 3rd grader Raymond Serrano said.

The parranda is an annual tradition at this school since 2013, but the school took a break because of the pandemic for two years. This is the first year the parranda is back since then.

"It really brought a tear to my eye, and all of our staff, to kind of see us come back together," Jones said.

Traditionally the parranda is performed when a group of friends goes from house to house singing Christmas carols. Adapted for a school setting, this parranda had students practicing all week by singing in the hallways.

"We had so much fun," 1st-grade bilingual educator Marylin Lozada said. "I'm glad. I was so happy to see the joy on their faces."

The parranda culminated with a big party in the auditorium before all the students went back to class.

A day of celebrating holiday and heritage.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.