Christmas In Spain
I am sure if you are interested in Spain and their traditions, you may like to hear about this festive period of time.
Most people in Spain start with La Miso del Gall ie The Mass of the Rooster (Midnight Mass), so called as a Rooster is supposed to have crowed the night before Jesus was born.
Traditionally Families eat their main meal on Christmas Eve before the service, The traditional Spanish Christmas dinner is Pavo Trufado de Navidad with is Turkey stuffed with Truffles (not the chocolate variety!)
In Galicia, the most popular meal for Christmas Eve and for Christmas Day is seafood. This can be all kinds of different seafood, from shellfish and molluscs to lobster and small crabs.
After the Midnight service, people walk through the streets with torches, playing drums, tamborines, and playing guitars.
December 28th is the Day of the Innocent Saints (dia de los santos inocentes) and is similar to April Fools Days in the Uk. People try to trick each other. Radio Stations, also run silly storys. If you trick them you call them Inocente, Inocente. 28th December is the day people remember that the babies were killed on the orders of King Herod when he attempted to kill Baby Jesus.
NEW YEARS EVE
is called Nocheveja or 'The Old Night in Spain.' The tradition is that with the 12 chimes of the clock you consume a grape. Each grape represents a month of the coming year, in which you will have good luck. Seedless grapes are preferable !
Aside from Christmas, the other festival that is celebrated in Spain is about the Christmas Story. It is about Epiphany and is celebrated on 6th January. In Spanish, La Fiesta de los Tres Reyes Mages which is the Festival of the three magic kings. This celebrates the Kings or Wise men who brought gifts to the baby Jesus.
Children believe that the Kings bring presents to them and so write letters to them on December 26th asking for toys and presents. On Epiphany Eve (January 5th) they leave shoes on balconies or under a Christmas Tree to be filled with presents. Gifts are left by children for the Kings, maybe a glass of Cognac, a satsuma and some walnuts. Sometimes a bucket of water is left for the Camels that bring the Kings!
Most big towns and cities have Epiphany Parades, sometimes with real Camels in the paradeand a reenactment of the Christmas Story.
Nativity Scenes are also a very important part of this time of year. These are nomally set up in the centre of the town or village or within a Church. Look out for El Caganber which means the 'poo-er'. Yes, this is a figure of a man going to the toilet in the fields!
A special cake is also eaten at this time of year called ROSCON, this means ring shape roll. It is very doughy and is bought to be eaten on Epiphany morning. Roscon can be filled with cream or chocolate and contains a little gift for that person who is lucky. You also wear the Crown in which the cake is wrapped ! In some cakes you will find a Bean and this means that next year, he/she buys the cake.
Whatever way you are celebrating Christmas and New Year ENJOY !
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