In Spain, like in
many other countries, means that most people do enjoy this festive
Spanish Christmas is full of traditions such as December 28th, our
April Fools, on this day, everybody is willing to play jokes
on anyone, even the Radio and TV like broadcasting a false news,
and theres always someone ready to believe it if they dont
realise what day it is. Another important event is the Christmas
Lottery which is held on December 22nd and people have their hopes
pinned on winning.
On Christmas Eve houses, streets, schools and local places are already
decorated. The most popular decoration is the nativity scene with
figurines representing all the characters in the story along with
landscapes, mountains,...etc. Some churches organise a competition
for the best work and people go from one church to another to have
a look and compare the different Nativity scenes.
The speech of the King to the nation is broadcast on the radio and
the TV, and afterwards, the big Christmas Eve dinner starts with
plenty of special and elaborated dishes and a selection of sweets
such as "turron", which is a kind of candy made with almonds
and with a fudge-like or hard nougat like consistency, fruits with
frosting sugar and marzipan. All this special meal is accompanied
by "cava" (special sparkling white wine). At midnight,
when normally dinner is already finished, the grown-ups and the
older children attend the midnight mass (Misa del Gallo), where
the holy Familys journey to Bethlehem is commemorated, and
during the ceremony its possible to listen to Christmas carols
and hymns of Christendom to call the faithful to worship.
Christmas Day is another family day with a big meal. Meeting friends,
visiting close relatives and making your own list of gifts for January
6th, is what most people do on this day and the following days.
New Years Eve is not as familiar as Christmas Every, but everybody
waits for the bells. Then, for each bell you have to eat one grape
up to 12 to the best of the New Year.
- I would say that the most special and fascinating dates are the
eve of the Epiphany and the day of the Three Wise Men. In Spain,
the Epiphany remember the Three Wise Men from the East who were
looking for the new baby Jesus and were guided all the way by the
star of Bethlehem. This day is very special for children because
they have previously written a letter. They would make a list of
presents and wishes they want to get and these will only be granted
if their behaviour has been good throughout the year.
On the eve of Epiphany , everybody goes to see the Three Wise Mens
Parade (La Cabalgata de Reyes) through town. Children go early to
bed at night after they have properly polished their shoes and some
food and drink have been left for the Three Wise Men and also some
straw for their camels.
The following morning, after opening their presents, the whole family
together have a special breakfast with "Roscón de Reyes"
a traditional large-ring-shape cake in which two surprises are hidden
, one for the good and one for the bad. If you get the good one
youll be lucky (for the rest of the year)and if you get the
bad one, youll have to pay for the cake.