Tuesday, 15 December 2009


In many cities and towns, preparations for Christmas start at the beginning of December, as they start to decorate the streets and big stores with colourful lights with Christmas motifs, such as snow flakes, bells, bows…
The chronological order of the Christmas events in Spain is as follows:
December 8th

- This is the public holiday of Immaculate (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) which marks the beginning of the religious Christmas celebrations.
December 22nd
- All over Spain people never stray far from a TV or radio as the Christmas lottery is drawn over a period of many hours. Everyone buys tickets for this lottery in the hope of winning the biggest prize and the winning number usually means that a lot of people from the same village. Besides the big three prizes there are thousands of smaller prizes shared by many people all over Spain.

December 24th
- Christmas Eve is called Nochebuena in Spanish (Goodnight) and it is the most important family gathering of the year. In the evening people often meet early for a few drinks with friends then, they come back home to enjoy a meal with the family. Most bars and restaurants close in the evening. Prawn starters followed by roast lamb would be a typical meal rounded off with a typically Christmas sweet called ‘turrón’ which is a nougat made of toasted sweet almonds. Another typical festive sweet is called ‘Polvorones’ which is made from almonds, flour and sugar. Cava, which is a catalan champagne, would be the chosen drink for the Christmas toast though plenty fine Spanish wines will also be consumed with the meal.
December 25th
- Children may receive a small gift this morning becaus the day for presents is 6th of January, when the Three Kings bring many gifts for the children. Christmas Day is a national holiday in Spain so shops are closed yet it is not a day of great celebration but rather a calm day when people go out for a walk, drops into a bar, etc. Another large family meal at lunchtime is common though it's becoming more common to see families eating out on the afternoon of Christmas day.
December 28th
- This is the day of ‘Santos Inocentes’ (Holy Innocents) and is the equivalent of April Fools' Day when people play practical jokes on one another. Often the national media will include a nonsense story in their broadcasts. In some villages youngsters of a village light bonfires and one of them acts as the major who orders townspeople to carry out civic tasks such as sweeping the streets.
December 31st
- New Year's Eve is known as ‘NocheVieja’. It is a big celebration all over the country with street parties and special nights in hotels and clubs everywhere. Until midnight people tend to stay at home and on the stroke of midnight it is traditional to eat 12 grapes, one on each stroke of the clock to bring good luck for the New Year. In Madrid and other main cities revellers congregate in the main square (Puerta del Sol in Madrid) and eat the grapes along with a celebratory bottle of cava then head out into the night until after sunrise.
January 1st
- A low key public holiday with plenty people sleeping off due to their excesses.
January 6th
- King's Day creates a frenzy in families, little children, and stores all over Spain. This is the traditional holiday, and the "last--minute--waiters" rush through stores and commercials to find the needed gifts they kept on putting off. Children go to bed early; some even search the skies for the Kings and their party as they cross the night from home to home placing gifts and pastries in each house. This is the time to wrap gifts, and open the closets to prepare them for the morning, and seeing in the outstanding expressions of the children their cheer and merriment. Also, bakeries prepare coal, blackened/greyish sugar lumps that look very much like coal, which is given to children, more as a joke than anything else.
January 7th
-The day after receiving their gifts children return to school, their parents go back to work and Christmas in Spain is all over for another year.

Ana Juan
Mireia Pardo
Nuria Ferragut
Col·legi Madre Alberta

No comments: