In our ongoing search for holiday food traditions, a co-worker told me about her Venezuelan favorite, Hallacas. The hallaca is more than a tamale, WAY more, involving stew, making dough, wrapping in banana leaves, and lots of family members to do all the work.
The most insight I gained was from watching the three-part tutorial on YouTube, posted by Bay area chef and cultural anthropologist Adriana Lopez.
Here's the link to Part 1 of 3 on YouTube. You will want to watch them all!