17 dic. 2015

A Spanish Christmas Carol: Traditions in Spain!

Holiday season is fully upon us here in Madrid so, for those of you lucky enough to be here this month, let’s do a rundown of how the Spanish celebrate Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, Three Kings Day, and more!

December 24th


The Spanish celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) so, on this day, before attending the “Misa del Gallo” (Midnight Mass) they eat a large Christmas meal, which typically involves a turkey or lamb, stuffed with truffle mushrooms, or seafood.
Midnight Mass in Spain is known as “La Misa Del Gallo” because it is believed that a rooster crowed the night that Jesus was born. After mass, the Spanish traditionally walk through the streets carrying torches and playing music on guitars, drums, and tambourines.



December 28th


December 28th is originally the “Día de los Santos Inocentes”, which marks the day the all minors under the age of 2 were ordered to be killed in Bethlehem. Today, it is commemorated in churches across the country, but it comes with a twist: over time it has converted itself into the equivalent of April fool’s Day, so keep your eye out for pranksters!

December 31st


On New Year’s Eve (Nochevieja) in Spain it is traditional to eat 12 grapes, stuffing one in your mouth in sync with each chime of the clock. Each grape represents a month of the coming year. If you manage to eat all 12 grapes (not as easy as it sounds), you are said to be lucky in the New Year.
The Spanish typically stay with their families until midnight on this day, and then the party begins! Hit the streets and clubs to find some of the craziest parties of the season!


January 5th and 6th


The most important day of the Christmas period is the Epiphany, celebrated on the 6th of January. This is the 12th night after Christmas and it is called “Fiesta de los tres Reyes Magos” here in Spain, the celebration of the 3 wise men bringing gifts to the baby Jesus!

Although children may receive some presents on Christmas Day, it is traditionally on the Epiphany when the children are “brought” presents by the Kings. Then, they write their letters to the Kings asking for their desired gifts and, on the 5th of January, they leave shoes on windowsills or under Christmas Trees to be filled with presents!
This day also comes with one of the biggest, most famous parades in Madrid: thousands of people, floats, bands, acrobats, and more float down the Castellana (one of the most prominent roads in Madrid) while millions of people line the sidewalks to watch. It’s magicial, breathtaking, and absolutely should not be missed if you’re in Madrid!
After watching the parade, children often leave the Kings a present such as a glass of Cognac, a Satsuma or some walnuts. A bucket of water may also be left outside for the king’s camels!

Happy Holidays from Madrid! We hope you enjoy this joyful season in the best city in the world!

2 comentarios:

  1. En los Estados Unidos, celebramas Noche Buena tambien. Los tradicions son muy parecido en Espana. Comemos una cena grande de pavo o jamon,y tambien tenemos Midnight Mas.

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    1. Es genial escuchar que las tradiciones son las mismas por todo el mundo :)

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