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In Spain Christmas Eve is called:  Noche Buena - The good Night!

The family Christmas Eve meal is one of the most important meals of the year for a Spanish family and the housewife will be busy preparing the traditional fare. It could be Turkey, but it is often fish.


As Christmas candy the Spaniards are eating "Turron" a kind of assorted chocolate, produced of among other things almonds and honey, or maybe marzipan. The meal will be complimented with champagne, and preferably the Spanish "Cava".

After the meal the adults will then exchange presents. The children will usually only receive a small gift. At midnight, some people will go to the Midnight Mass at the church. Others may stay at home and open a bottle of champagne to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Some children go Carol singing and the youngsters may go to bed whilst the adults go out and party until dawn.

Christmas Day is a fiesta day so all banks and shops are closed, probably to recover from the night before. Christmas Day in Spain is one of the quietest of the year. Anyone wanting to eat out on this special day will have to book well in advance.

The first major sign of Christmas is the state-run lottery which is drawn on December 22nd. The 'El Gordo' (the Fat One) is one of the largest lotteries in the world and thousands of people win each year.

In general, Christmas in Spain is based more on a religious theme than in many other places. Churches are packed to capacity, day and night.

Spain has many of its own unique traditions, all of which are great fun, but many of the Spanish traditions, are the same in the former Spanish colonies. In Spain there are many Christmas markets through December. Many parties are celebrated in the different cities during these markets.

Traditionally it is the Twelfth Night (the 6th of January), where the Holy 3 Kings - Los Reyes Magos ( Melchor, Gaspar and Balthazar ) that is bringing the gifts in Spain. It is namely on this day, that you'll receive your Christmas gifts, as a symbol on the arrival of the Holy Three Kings at the Crib of the Infant Jesus.

The evening before, the 5th of January, there are parades in most cities, where the Kings are riding through the cities on Camels, horses, donkeys or in decorated vans or busses. In the evening all the children place their footwear outside the door, before going to bed. The next morning the Holy 3 Kings have placed presents in them. The most bellowed is Balthazar.

In Spain, Santa Claus is called Papa Noel.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year  Feliz Navidad y Prospero ano Nuevo!
 
 

Christmas photo for free http://www.canario.co.uk/christmas_photo.htm
 

 

Best choice, before, during and after the holiday!

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