jueves, 13 de marzo de 2008

Christmas in Catalonia!!*

Christmas traditions in Spain
Spain’s traditions during the Christmas season revolve around many of the same activities as in the rest of the world. Just like anywhere else, families in Spain gather together to enjoy and celebrate.
Also during the days leading up to Christmas, one might hear the voices of children singing in the streets, especially in the villages and small towns of rural Spain, where they still participate in the age old tradition called the “aguinaldo".

December 22, Christmas Lottery Winners are Announced

On December 22, two important events take place. Students are released from school for their winter vacations, they announce the winning number of the famous Christmas Lottery in Spain. This lottery, by far the biggest in Spain, is a tradition practiced by many people who long to win the grand prize, which would make them instantly rich.

December 24, Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve in Spain, called “Nochebuena”, just like in many parts of the world, is celebrated with two very important traditions, eating an enormous and decadent meal, and going to Christmas mass. There is a wide variety of typical foods one might find on plates across Spain on this night. Each region has its own distinct specialties.

Among typical dishes served on Christmas Eve and during the days that follow are roast lamb and suckling pig. For dessert, there is quite a spread of delicacies, among them are turrón and mazapan, desserts made of honey, egg and almonds that are Arabic in origin, as well as polvorones, a sweet bread kind of like elephant ears, and a variety of nuts and dried fruits. To drink, one must have a glass of cava, the Spanish equivalent of champagne, although the Spanish say that cava is much better.

December 25, Christmas Day
Christmas day is more or less a continuation of what began the day before. People spend time with their families, they eat another large meal, although not as big as the one the day before, and in many families, children enjoy the gifts that they have received from “Papa Noel”, the Spanish equivalent of Santa Claus.

December 28, Day of the Innocents
December 28 marks a day of celebration exclusively Spanish called the Day of the Innocents. Although the roots of this day are bloody, in modern times, the customs practiced on this day are very jovial and fun. Ironically many laughs are had on this day, especially by the natives.

December 31, New Year's Eve
Of course, the celebrations that take place on New Year’s Eve, or Nochevieja, in Spain, are quite an impressive spectacle. In all places of Spanish cities big and small. When the clock strikes 12, the church bells sound 12 times, and at this moment, all Spaniards eat 12 grapes, one for each toll of the bell. According to tradition, those who eat the grapes will have 12 months of prosperity in the new year.

January 6, Three King's Day
While most of the world has already begun packing up the Christmas ornaments, throwing out the tree, and finding a place for all of their gifts, Spaniards are continuing the celebration. January 6, Three King’s Day. On January 5, children go to a parade where they see the three kings arrive to their city, and take the opportunity to ask them for gifts. Later, before going to bed, children leave their shoes out in a visible spot in the house or on their balcony, y go to bed hoping that when they wake up they will find gifts left by Mechior, Gaspar, and Balthasar.

1 comentario:

Jan and Steve dijo...

Thank you very much for the information on Christmas traditions in Catalunya.