Spanish Christmas traditions|Christmas customs and traditions in Spain |

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Spanish Christmas traditions


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The Spanish people celebrate the Christmas holiday season with great zeal, and during this time all the usual Christmas festivities and rituals are observed. The Spanish partake wholeheartedly into the spirit of things and they enjoy the most of this festive season. The Spanish Christmas tradition is basically a prolongation of the years old beliefs and customs. Prior to the arrival of Christmas, people gear up for the celebration by cleaning up their houses and buying Christmas gifts for their family, kids, friends and beloved ones. In Spain, Christmas is among the major celebrations and it lasts for one month. Assorted events are organized at each day of the festival.


History of Spanish Christmas traditions

In Spain, the Christmas celebration is performed almost the same way like as the other countries across the globe. But the Spanish people have a unique tradition called "Hogueras" which has been celebrated ever since ancient times. Spaniards used to rejoice the Winter Solstice by jumping over a fire. They believed that this will bring them sound health by protecting from illness in the coming year. Mostly the people of Granada and Jaeen enthusiastically follow this ritual. But gradually, this Spanish tradition has been left aside, and Christianity became popular during the Middle Ages. Presently, Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) and the Epiphany are considered as the main part of Spanish Christmas festivities.

The Catholic Church has great history and it is allied with Spanish Christmas traditions. The Virgin Mary is the patron saint of Spain and all through the holiday season, homage is offered to her. In Spain, the Christmas season commence on 8th of December. On this day the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is organized in her honor.


Spanish Christmas Celebrations

Traditional Spanish Christmas celebration starts on December 22nd with a big lottery draw. And the celebration reaches its peak on the day of Christmas Eve or ‘Nochebuena.’ At this time, tiny oil lamps are lighted in every Spanish house, and the people take part in the midnight mass service which is organized at the nearby churches. The families participate in "La Misa Del Gallo" or ‘Rooster's Mass’. Wide assortment of traditional Spanish Christmas cuisine such as, ‘Alicante’, ‘Polvorones’, ‘Mazapan’, ‘Turron’, are also served and it is an important part of Spanish Christmas traditions.

Typically, Spanish people spend the Christmas Day at church. They also enjoy events like 'El Gordo', ‘Caganer’ in the city of Barcelona.  A variety of fun filled activities could also be found in Madrid. As a part of Spanish Christmas traditions, ‘Immaculada’ is celebrated on 8th of December ever year, while on 26th December ‘San Esteban’ is observed and ‘Día de los Santos Inocentes’ on December 28th. The Christmas festivity culminates on 6th of January with Epiphany.


Nativity scene and Spanish Christmas traditions

Without Nativity scene, Christmas decoration is not complete. These scenes are placed plazas in cities as well as in small towns all through Spain. Even in the Spanish homes also this is used in the doorways and entrances. The Nativity scene is the symbol of Christmas and it is considered as an essential part of Spanish Christmas celebration.  It is also very common to see a live Nativity scene in plazas before the Christmas night. Actors and actresses perform the role of Mary, Joseph and the three wise men, etc. that are related to the birth of Christ.


Spanish Christmas Cuisine

Christmas Eve dinner is an integral part of Christmas festivity. In fact, it is the biggest meal of the year that the Spanish people eat. Numerous mouthwatering delicious dishes people eat during this time. Among the most popular dishes, Lobster and other shellfish are remarkable. In addition, a fish soup is also there in the list of Spanish Christmas cuisine. Roasted lamb, suckling pig as well as various cheeses, sweets and pates are mostly popular. Another most alluring Spanish Christmas treat is turron, almond candy. A glass of cava or Spanish brandy or a cup of espresso after the meal is part of Spanish Christmas traditions.


Spanish Christmas Carols

Singing Spanish Christmas carols is Spanish Christmas traditions. Numerous popular carols have been translated into Spanish. Christmas carols are called as villancicos in Spain. In Latin America and Spain, the traditional Spanish Christmas carols are highly popular.  Noche de paz, noche de amor and Noche de luz, noche de paz are some well-liked Spanish Christmas carols.


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