A traditional Christmas in Spain
Europe is preparing for the most important and beautiful celebration of the calendar: the winter holidays. Even with the confusion of recent events, there is still a sense of hope and enthusiasm at the thought of Christmas and the coming of a new – and hopefully better – year. Meanwhile, let’s see what a traditional Christmas in Spain looks like.
The Spanish are for the most part Catholics, so the feat of the Nativity of Christ, called “Navidad” in Spanish, is the most important and long-awaited in the year. Most everybody is looking forward for the holidays, breaks from work and school.
There are older and… newer season’s traditions. One of them, a sort of mixture between the two, is the Christmas Lottery that has taken place every year since 1812. The big prize is called “El Gordo” and anyone can try to win it for the price of some 20 EUR.
Apart from the internationally popular Christmas Tree, the Spanish love the red, lively Christmas Flowers that decorate their houses and the Nativity Scene, a very common motif throughout the Catholic world. Locally called “Portal de Belen”, the scene includes the Biblical characters (Jesus, Mary and Joseph, sometimes the Magi and the animals all gathered around the manger.
Especially in villages, children go caroling and are rewarded for their pain with candy and other goodies.
Christmas Eve is called “Nochebuena” and finds most families together, at home, enjoying a pleasant meal. December 25th is Christmas Day. In the morning, people can go to church before having the Christmas meal (which contains meat or fish, fruit and sweets) and enjoy the bliss of the season full of gratitude.
If you want to join the locals in their happiness and spend a traditional Christmas in Spain, you can rent a car in Madrid.