Today, I’m going to explain how We celebrate Christmas in Spain..
Like in other countries Christmas is a traditional party. We celebrate Christmas with our family and friends. These days are national parties (like 25th Dec or 1st of January when shops close for the day).
Depending on the place where you are the tradition changes a bit, but usually we buy presents, decorate our houses or we even have parties with our friends or work colleagues, exactly the same like in England, don’t you think?
Spanish people decorate their houses in the same way English people do in England, the only difference is that we celebrate a bit more the birth of Jesus and we all have nativities underneath our Christmas tree.
Nativities, Christmas trees and Christmas plants are very important in Spain. Christmas plants are very associated to this festive season, and like in England, you can buy them in supermarket, garden centres and many more.
Spanish people eat their Christmas dinner, with family and friends on Christmas eve, the 24th of December, and no on the 25th Dec like in England.
On the 25th of December, shops are closed and the only thing we do is enjoy the day with our family and friends singing Christmas songs. We gather together with guitars and sing our favorite Christmas songs. I personally love this day.
Christmas dinner is definitely turkey, although there may be people they go for chicken. We drink champagne, eat our typical Christmas sweets (turron), and sing songs such as “Burrito Sabanero”, “Noche de paz” or “Los Reyes Magos”, we called these songs “villancicos”.
Here aresome links where you can find these songs:
On the 24th December, after dinner and at midnight, people go to “la misa del gallo” or midnight mass. It is called like this because a rooster is supposed to have crowed the night that Jesus was born.
Anyway, after midnight service, people go out, playing guitars and other musical instruments and sing for hours.
What about Santa Claus? ( “Papa Noel” in Spanish). Some families celebrate “Papa Noel”, but children only get little gifts as the main day to get the big presents is the 6th of January. The three Wise Men bring the presents.
The 31st December is just new year eve, and we do go out to celebrate the new year. We may have dinner in our out and then party time. The only difference is that we believe that red underwear will bring us good luck in the New Year so we buy each other that as a gift.
Also at midnight with the 12 rings before 12am, we eat 12 grapes, and it is really fun to see everybody trying to swallow the grapes just thinking if you do it right you may be lucky for the rest of the year.
Here in England, people may go to London, Big Ben, in Spain, people go to “La puerta del sol”, Madrid, but of course, everywhere else is ok too, like churches, restaurants or wherever you are at that moment.
The 1st of January is national party and shops close, only A&E, chemists or things like that open.
A lot of families meet again for lunch to celebrate the first day of the year but our Christmas doesn’t finish there, we keep celebrating until, of course, the 6th January.
The Three Wise Men’s (Los Tres Reyes Magos, Melchor, Gaspar or Baltasar) are so expected by the children in Spain.
The kids can go to town to see them, drop their letters and tell them what they want. There is also a big parade the night before, so the kids go outside and see the parade with the three wise men and then go to bed early that night as they now they are coming early in the morning.
On the 6th of January, when people wake up, they get their presents but if you haven’t been good you get sweet coal, it is mainly a joke.
That day is very typical to eat the famous “Roscon de Reyes”( I explained about this in my last post, made of cream or chocolate and with gifts inside).
The 6th of January is the day kids play with their toys and visit family where they collect even more presents!
And that is it, only one more thing is our January sales from the 8th of January, as We don’t have Boxing Day.
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Happy Christmas everyone!!
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