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How celebrate the New year and celebrate Christmas in Spain: tradition and photos

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Those who happen to visit in late December – early January in Spain, lucky: carnivals, festivals are an endless series, giving guests fun and good mood. You will see how celebrate New year in Spain – emotionally, brightly, paying tribute to local customs.

Winter holidays in Spain - photos

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The Spaniards – great masters of the organization of festive events. In Christmas is based on centuries-old traditions.

New year, the country began to celebrate later, but this holiday has felt the unique national character.

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What the numbers say - the exact date

Christmas in Spain is celebrated on 25 Dec. Followed by a festive 12 days, ending January 6, the Day of the Magi.

New year, like the Russians, the Spaniards celebrated on the night of 31 December to 1 January. This holiday is a state. Theatres and cinemas is closed at this time, to sit near the TV is also not local, so all the fun of the event moved to the streets and squares.

Data from the Christmas story

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Apart from the fact that in Spain the Christmas is a national holiday, it is also a very important event for the Catholic world (the people of Spain are mostly Catholic). In Spanish, the holiday is called "Navidad", a Christmas night – "Nochebuena" (translation – "good night").

The nascent day it was always customary to start with a visit to the Church, and now a majority of Spaniards stick to this tradition. Festive service is an unusual name, "Misa de gallo", which means "mass of the rooster".

According to legend this bird first found out about the birth of Christ and immediately reported it to the world.

Another ancient tradition: to celebrate the holidays "Hogueras" (Hogueras) – the winter solstice. Still in some cities of Spain (e.g. Granada), encountering this event, bred in ancient times, bonfires to just jump it. This way was adopted to protect your health from various diseases.

The New year the country celebrates according to the Gregorian calendar starting in 1582. Today's event marks the ancient chimes , and tower clocks all Spanish cities. Traditionally, people gather on the squares, to witness the change from one year to others.

Weather and temperature these days

From most European countries, Spain has a mild climate even in winter. In Northern regions the temperature in December reaches zero the level of 14 C in the South – 17-19 degrees Celsius. During the celebration of Christmas and New year the average for the state capital, Madrid is 10 degrees in the day and 6 degrees at night.

Meteorologists, based on years of observation, I think "holiday season" in Spain is quite comfortableSunny days pretty much rains are uncommon.

The scale of celebrations

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The motto of the Spaniards during the Christmas and new year's days – to walk so to walk. Activities are carried out in a big way, I love the fireworks and the color red – he is one of the symbols of the winter holidays.

How to celebrate Christmas?

The desire to celebrate the Spaniards so great that they begin to celebrate Christmas for1-2 weeks before it happens. Gala dinners in restaurants, which are colleagues and friends, continuing until morning.

Considering that every Spaniard becomes a party to such feasts in average 3 times, the second half of December to call the working language is not rotated.

But Christmas itself – a holiday family. The Spaniards are trying to gather around a big table with all the relatives, even to the uttermost, with whom they will likely meet again not earlier than after a year. Interestingly, for a long time in Spain there was not a tradition to give each other on this day with gifts, however, envious way as is done in neighbouring States, the Spaniards are now gifts I give.

Children store up in the Christmas eve special socksthat adults filled them with toys or some useful knick-knacks.

How to meet New year?

The Spanish name for this holiday is "Nochevieja", in translation into Russian – "the old night", which precisely represents the meaning of December 31, for the Spaniards: they increasingly see off the outgoing year than to meet new.

Although the holiday is considered less "homemade" than Christmas, people gathering in the squares and streets of the cities are family. As soon chime strikes 12 times, even unknown to each other, people greet each other, hug, kiss and give small gifts. Start festivals, dances, "exploding" firecrackers and fireworks, hear songs sparkle with sparklers.

Christmas traditions

Many Spanish holiday ceremonies more than one hundred years. Sometimes they are absurd, ridiculous, but to abandon them is not going to.

The symbols and rituals

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One of the symbols of the holiday – mythical character , Kegati. "Pooping log" so his name is translated into Russian language. In fact it is – the stump of the tree which has attached feet and drew a face. Kagato is in almost every family, passed down from generation to generation.

In December he was taken out of the "reservists" to bring to the kitchen and begin to feed, leaving food over night, and wrap up with a blanket so he wouldn't freeze. At Christmas the poor guy for no reason, beaten with sticks kids, demanding that he "pooped" them with gifts. That each child under the blanket really was trick or treat "from Kagati" advance care parents.

Of gifts dream guys and on the Night of the Magi (6 January), try not to go to bed, to consider who put them near the bed. When to fight off sleep will not be too tired and the kids are asleep, presents to their children will bring the parents. Sometimes the children manage to become members of the"Cavalcade of Magi" - a kind of carnival in which participants, dressed sorcerers, give boys and girls different things.

A living symbol of the holiday – houseplant poinsettia is sometimes called the"star of Bethlehem", because its leaves, star-shaped.

Natural or artificial Christmas trees in Spanish homes and on the streets too, but the poinsettia is a required attribute.

From the tradition of the new year is the most popular and ancient "12 grapes". At the time of the Spanish kings subjects spoiled sweet berry (giving it for free), if the year was fruitful. Today to next year became successful, generous, fruitful in all respects, you need to eat a dozen grapes until the clock strikes 12 times (the bones have to spit it out).


If the holiday is celebrated in the restaurant, before the chimes every guest will be awarded a plastic bag with the berries. To disrupt the ritual was a bad sign.

But the tradition that still develops - the audience on the occasion the youth writes their names on pieces of paper and throws them in the bag. Then mix the contents of the bag and pull out notes with names – so what "couples" for the upcoming festive night.

Spanish Santa Claus

Spain is a character by the name of Olentzero. His costume is made in the style of national traditions, lavishly decorated. In hand – a flask of whiskey.

Despite his addiction to alcohol, Spanish Santa Claus does not forget about its main purpose – to congratulate the kids. To stick gifts in a sock or hide them under the tree he doesn't like, he usually puts them on the windowsill.

Decorations and attributes

Most Christmas and new year decorations – traditional for many countries: garlands, balloons, candles, tinsel. But there are also "exclusive": Belen layout, which shows the pattern of Christ's birth. Belém can be placed in the town square or in a shop window, but in a miniature version – in the homes of Spaniards.

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For Christmas decided to give edible gifts, nougat and champagne. In addition, going to visit, to celebrate the holiday, shop Christmas gift pack with jamon (dry-cured ham, a Spanish delicacy).

In the New year it is customary to prepare gifts for guests – cotillon. So called bags filled with holiday paraphernalia: carnival masks, streamers, crackers, balloons.

According to the tradition to open a gift cotillion is allowed only after midnight.

January 6th in Spain is considered a Day of gifts. Them, as once Jesus today bring to the children of men, depicting the Magi. More toys and sweets given to the children who during the year was obedient, studious, and therefore deserve encouragement.

Features table

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The main Christmas dish is a Turkey stuffed mushrooms. In addition, the holiday table is decorated with:

  • dishes of seafood (shrimp, crab);
  • foods from the meat (roast lamb, braised beef or chicken with langoustines);
  • Christmas soup with stuffed biscuits;
  • greens;
  • sweets (marzipan cakes, wine donuts, halva, shortbread cookies with bacon, nuts, iced, honey cakes);
  • Spanish champagne "Cava" for adults and grape juice for children.

For new year's table the Spaniards are doing smaller workpieces, especially if they plan to celebrate the holiday outside the home. In this case, a light snack, otherwise you can count on the restaurant. However, for the New year, you will need:

  1. grapes (to fulfill the holiday ritual);
  2. tartlets with different fillings;
  3. fish snacks;
  4. "Russian salad" (similar to our "Olivier", which sold in supermarkets);
  5. snacks of melon and ham;
  6. confectionery (biscuits with caraway seeds, cakes and pies, Spanish nougat "Bakeries");
  7. red (preferably Spanish) wine.

In different regions of Spain, its culinary and pastry preferences. On the Canary Islands, for example, is festive desserts: almond cream pudding and milk in Canary.

In Christmas and new year holidays decided to buy the table a loaf of bread with cream, which is called "the Ambassador". She's with a surprise baked inside. The one who the surprise will be, when a loaf of bread cut into pieces and will be a year later, in his house, to collect guests.

Even as far as Christmas traditions of Spanish you learn from this video: