Spanish Christmas Traditions

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Oscar FacundoInglés
30 de noviembre de 2018
54
2 minutos
In Spain, Christmas is one of the longest holidays of the year. Traditions in Spain are very special. Although a large number of traditions are celebrated throughout the Spanish territory, below we will showcase some of the local alternatives to Santa Claus, a very special way to do the countdown and some more!

1  “Caga Tió” – Christmas ‘crapping’ log

In Catalonia, a few days before Christmas, Caga Tió will be set somewhere visible at home. It basically consists of a log with a smiley face, to which people add a traditional catalan beanie. During Christmas Day, kids will beat the log while singing a song to make him defecate the presents.

2  Day of the Innocents

In Spain, an alternative to April Fools Day is “the Day of the Innocents. Celebrated on December 28, it is a mix between April Fools and Halloween since children are also expected to go door by door asking for sweets. People prepare pranks to their friends and families, and stick papers to people’s back. Even the newspapers and TV shows will produce fake news on this day for the enjoyment of the audience.

3  El Gordo: Spain’s Christmas lottery

In Spain there are two big lotteries during Christmas holidays: El Gordo (The Fat One) and el Niño (The Kid). El Gordo is the biggest in the world, and most of the Spaniards people take part on it. Usually, people share the same lottery number with family members and colleagues. Kept as a tradition, kids from San Ildefonso School  announce the winners on the 22nd of December singing them.

4  Olentzero – The Basque ‘Father Christmas’

In the Basque Country, they have an alternative local version of Santa Claus. He looks more like a farmer, holding a smoking pipe, and wearing traditional clothes. He brings the presents to the kids during Christmas.

5  El belén

Many families in Spain love to have a nativity scene called “Belén” at home made with figures made of porcelain or other materials. In the area of Catalonia, people use a very special character: “el caganer”. He is a shepherd who is with his trousers down and defecating. Nowadays, they make funny versions of trendy people like Donald Trump or Justin Bieber.

6  Grape Eating at the Stroke of Midnight

The countdown in Spain is a bit special. Our tradition is to eat 12 grapes during the 12 bells at the stroke of midnight. It is said to be a sign of bad luck not being able to follow the pace of the strokes. For every grape you can eat, you will have good luck during one month of the coming year.

7  Three Kings

The tradition in Spain is that the kids receive the presents from the Three magic Kings. Nowadays some families celebrate Santa Claus or both.
The Three Kings come by with their camels from very far to give the presents to the the kids who behaved well during the year. If they did not behave, they will bring them coal! Nowadays, they receive a candy version of coal so at least they can eat it hahahaha.
During the evening of January 5th, there are parades with the kings all around the country. When the children sleep, they will get in all the houses and drop the presents. The 6th in the morning the kids will check what they got, and the whole day is a big family day.

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Oscar

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Español
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España
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Inglés
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¡HOLA! My name is Oscar and I'm from Barcelona, Spain but I live in the countryside because I like to be close to nature. I'm passionate about teaching my mother tongue and I work as a full-time Spanish teacher since 2013. I believe in tailored lessons to the specific needs. I create my own materials focused on what your goals. My aim is to create a relaxed learning atmosphere which makes you feel comfortable, secure and motivated to keep learning and become Spanish skilled speaker I have an open personality, enthusiastic and curious. I and I enjoy meeting new students and their experiences and stories. I'm passionate about traveling, analog photography, trail running, cycling, literature, and cooking and classical music. My enthusiasm and curiosity have taken me to places such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia… and Hong Kong, where I lived for more than three years. I'm excited to take on new challenges, I would love to meet you, learn from you and help you learn the language fast and easy. Feel free to have a trial lesson to see if I can help you bring your Spanish to the next level. Thanks for reading this far ; TEACHING NEW AND CURRENT STUDENTS!
Flag
Español
globe
España
time
344
Español
Nativo
,
Catalán
Nativo
,
Inglés
B2
¡HOLA! My name is Oscar and I'm from Barcelona, Spain but I live in the countryside because I like to be close to nature. I'm passionate about teaching my mother tongue and I work as a full-time Spanish teacher since 2013. I believe in tailored lessons to the specific needs. I create my own materials focused on what your goals. My aim is to create a relaxed learning atmosphere which makes you feel comfortable, secure and motivated to keep learning and become Spanish skilled speaker I have an open personality, enthusiastic and curious. I and I enjoy meeting new students and their experiences and stories. I'm passionate about traveling, analog photography, trail running, cycling, literature, and cooking and classical music. My enthusiasm and curiosity have taken me to places such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia… and Hong Kong, where I lived for more than three years. I'm excited to take on new challenges, I would love to meet you, learn from you and help you learn the language fast and easy. Feel free to have a trial lesson to see if I can help you bring your Spanish to the next level. Thanks for reading this far ; TEACHING NEW AND CURRENT STUDENTS!

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