Friday, December 16, 2016

Day Seven- Christmas in Spain

Back to the continent of Europe today, to a place with some very unusual traditions. Although people in Spain have many of the same traditions as other places in the world, they have a few very unique ones too.

It starts with bonfire jumping at the winter solstice. What? Yes, you read that right, bonfire jumping. This event can mainly be seen in Granada and Jaen. People jump over bonfires to protect against illness.

The main Christmas celebrations happen on Christmas Eve, with a Christmas meal of Turkey stuffed with mushrooms. Then families go to Midnight mass, followed by a march through the streets with torches, guitars, tambourines, and drums. There is a Spanish saying that sums up this tradition: 'Esta noche es noche-buena, y no es noche De dormir.' (This night is a good night and is not a night for sleeping.)
Christmas day is spent going to church, hanging out with families, and having more feasts. A tradition on this easy is 'swinging'. People set up swings and the young people swing to the accompaniment of songs and laughter!

December 28 is 'día De los Santos inocentes' or The day of the innocent saints. It remembers the babies killed by Herod's evil order. (Matthew 2) It sounds like a serious Day, but it is spent much like April Fools Day in the USA or Uk . People try to get others to believe silly stories!

Next comes News Years Eve, or 'nochevieja.' (The old night) A tradition for this night is to eat 12 grapes, one with each stroke of the clock st midnight. If you eat the grapes, you are said to have good luck.

The big day for gifts is not Christmas Day, by Epiphany on January 6. This celebrates the wise men coming to give gifts to baby Jesus. In Spain, Santa does not bring gifts to the children, instead the three kings from the Christmas story do.  Children spend December 26 writing letters to the kings asking them for toys and goodies. They leave out their shoes on January 5 along with gifts for the wise men and their camels.
epiphany shoes
Some towns even have Epiphany parades where each king is given a camel shaped float.
People also have a special cake called 'Roscón'. It is doughy and filled with cream and chocolate and a small gift.

Another tradition that seems odd to outsiders is one special to the Catalonia province. On December 8, families set up a log with a face called a 'Tio De Nadal'. All throughout the month, they 'feed' the log, and on Christmas, they tap the log to help with digestion. The log will drop little treats like candy and dried fruit. When it drops an onion or garlic, the treats are done for the year. This us why the log is also called 'cago tio' or pooping log!
tio de nadal
'Feliz Navidad' (Spanish), 'Bon Nadal' (Catalan), 'Bo Nadal' (Galician), and 'Eguberri on' (Basque) from Spain!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Don't miss the rest of the Christmas fun! Find it here: