The Flags of Puerto Rico represent and symbolize the island and people of Puerto Rico. The most commonly used flags of Puerto Rico are the current flag which represents the people of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; municipal flags which represent the different regions of the island; political flags which represent the political beliefs of the people and sports flags which identify Puerto Rico as the country represented by its athletics during competitions.
The Flamboyan Tree is a theme you will see throughout Puerto Rican art and is celebrated as a major iconic image of Puerto Rico. You will see images of the flamboyant in much of the local art and souvenirs when in Puerto Rico. The Flamboyan is actually spelled Flamboyant, and is also known as Royal Poinciana, Flame Tree, Peacock Flower, and Gulmohar.
Rum (ron in Spanish) production has been an important part of Puerto Rico's economy since the 16th century. While sugar cane harvesting has virtually disappeared in Puerto Rico (except for a few isolated farms and agricultural experiments), distilleries around the island still produce large amounts of rum every year. Don Q is the top-selling rum brand on the island, where more than 70% of the rum consumed in the United States is produced
Coquí is the common name for several species of small frogs in the Eleutherodactylus genus that are native to Puerto Rico. They are onomatopoeically named for the very loud mating call which the males of two species, the common coquí and the mountain coquí, make at night. The coquí is one of the most common frogs in Puerto Rico with more than 16 different species found within its territory, including 13 in the El Yunque National Forest. Other species of this genus can be found in the rest of the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Neotropics, in Central and South America. All species of Eleutherodactylus are characterized by direct development in which eggs hatch into small frogs, the tadpole stage being passed in the egg itself
Bomba is a musical expression created in Puerto Rico at the end of the 17th century, by West Africans and their descendants who worked the colonial sugar plantations along the coast of Puerto Rico. Through fiery drum rhythms and improvised dance, the cane workers released feelings of anger, resistance, and sadness about their condition. It was at "Bailes de Bombas" (Bomba Dances) where baptisms and marriages were celebrated, and rebellions planned. For this reason, celebrations were only permitted on Sundays and Feast Days. At Bailes the Bomba, the sounds of drums called "barriles," typically made of empty codfish or rum barrels, drew the crowd into a circle. Dancers took turns challenging the drums, creating a dialog with their movements that the solo drummer answered. It is said that women bomba dancers would typically dance with their skirt raised, showing their slips, to ridicule the attire worn by plantation ladies.
Although Puerto Rican cooking is often compared to Spanish, Cuban and Mexican cuisine, it is a unique tasty blend of Spanish, African, Taíno, and American influences, using such indigenous seasonings and ingredients as coriander, papaya, cacao, nispero, apio, plantains, and yampee. Locals call their cuisine "cocina criolla".
One of Puerto Rico's notable exports is its music, which is probably the predominant Caribbean music heard in the United States.
The figures we see on the Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are inspired on those that appear on the Coat of Arms which the Spanish Crown granted to the Island of Puerto Rico at the beginning of the XVI Century. It was first recognized by King Ferdinand by virtue of Royal Decree on November 8, 1511, but it wasn't until March 9, 1905 that a law, establishing the official Coat of Arms was signed. It is the only one in Latin America still in official use since the conquest.
Fiestas patronales in Puerto Rico are yearly celebrations held in each municipality of the island. Like in other countries, "fiestas patronales" are heavily influenced by Spanish culture and religion, and are dedicated to a saint or virgin. The festivities usually include religious processions honoring its Catholic heritage. However, elements of African and local culture have been incorporated as well. They also feature parades, games, artisans, amusement rides, regional food, and live entertainment.