Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas Traditions in Spain - ¡Feliz Navidad!

  DID you know? Spain has some interesting traditions at this time of year:

Children in Spain don't really get presents at Christmas, but they have to wait until the 6th of January, when Three Kings Day (el dia de los Reyes Magos) is celebrated. It's the day the three kings arrived in Bethlehem to see the new born Christ. 

On the night of the 5th of January, children put out shoes filled with straw for the kings' donkeys and camels, as well as some sweets for the kings themselves. The next morning, they wake to find that the hay and sweets have been eaten and that presents are waiting for them next to their shoes.

Later in the day, there are parades in the streets called the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos. Accompanied by festive lights and music, nativity scenes are acted out. The three kings ride on horses, camels or elaborate floats and throw goodies and sweets down to the children lining the streets.

In recent years, some children have been very lucky and have also received presents from Santa but mostly, Santa has left this job to the Kings on the 6th January!

Another interesting tradition is celebrated at midnight on New Year's Eve:  
You eat  12 grapes, one on every stroke of the clock of Midnight. 
This is believed to bring good luck for the next year!
Apparently, you can even buy special little tins of 12 grapes in the shops for this purpose!

some vocabulary for you:

Christmas eve is called Nochebuena (good/lovely night)

NewYear's Eve is called Nochevieja (old night)

Gracias to Ms Burford for providing the information.

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