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Spanish Christmas customs D. Grey: Lowdham C of E School.

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2 Spanish Christmas customs D. Grey: Lowdham C of E School

3 Spanish people celebrate Christmas with many of the usual festivities, presents, trees, parties and time spent with their families. However there are several Christmas celebrations, which are unique to the Spanish culture. Read on to find out more about Hogueras La Misa Del Gallo Pavo Tufado de Navidad Turron El Dia de Reyes Nacimientos Vocabulary of Christmas

4 Hogueras This tradition comes from a time before Christmas itself and takes place on the 21st December. Hogueras means bonfires It was originally a pagan ritual to mark The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the arrival of winter. Hogueras involves people jumping over lighted fires in the hope that it would protect them from illness over the coming months which would have proved a difficult time for them. This fire-jumping can be seen mainly in Granada and Jaen.

5 La Misa Del Gallo Christmas Eve is called Nochebuena meaning the Good Night. This traditional church service takes place on Christmas Eve when family celebrations are interrupted at midnight by the ringing of church bells calling the people to the Mass of the Rooster – La Misa Del Gallo The service gets its name because it is said that the only time when a Rooster crowed at midnight was on the day that Jesus was born. One of the most beautiful services is held at the monastery of Montserrat, high in the mountain near Barcelona, the highlight of which is the amazing singing by the boys’ choir.

6 Pavo Tufado de Navidad White truffles are a delicacy. They are like mushrooms but they grow underground and are very expensive. In Spain, Christmas dinner is eaten late on Christmas Eve before the family attends mass. The most important part of the meal is a turkey stuffed with truffles (pavo trufado de navidad). After dinner the family gather around the Christmas tree and sings traditional carols. Celebrations go on late into the night & an old Spanish verse says Esta noche es Noche-Buena, y no es noche de dormir. This is the good-night, therefore it is not meant for sleep.

7 Turron Turron de Jijona  250 gms sugar  250 grams white honey  250 grams toasted almonds  250 grams toasted hazelnuts  5 egg whites  1 dessertspoon cinnamon  Crush the nuts in the mortar until they become a smooth paste  Beat the eggs whites stiffly and then add them to the paste  Put the honey and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil  Add the paste to the honey mixture  Mix constantly with a wooden spatula for ten minutes  Remove from the heat, put into wooden moulds lined with rice paper  Leave to cool and then sprinkle with cinnamon Turron is a nougat & although it is available all year, it is a traditional Christmas treat & many different types are available. For example turron de Almendra (almond), turron de Cacauetes (peanut) and turron de Avellana (roasted hazelnut) Two towns famous for their turron are Alicante, which produces a hard turron and Jijona, which makes a soft turron.

8 El Día de Reyes The three kings appear all over Spain in the run up to Christmas in hospitals and orphanages etc. It is believed that Balthazar is the king who brings the gifts. On the 5 th of January, the Eve of Epiphany, there are parades in most towns marking the arrival of the three kings, who are believed to have passed through Spain on their way to see baby Jesus. The Three Kings ride on floats throwing candy to the children. The children place shoes, filled with straw, carrots and barley for the donkeys, on their windowsills and hope that when they wake on el Día de Reyes (The Day of the Kings) the food will have been replaced by gifts. Some say that Santa Claus takes presents away from children who are naughty!

9 Another name for a nativity scene is Belén, which is the Spanish for Bethleham, the place where Jesus was born. Nacimiento The tradition of Nacimientos involves making and decorating complicated nativity scenes. Many scenes contain a stream or brook and animals such as pigs, sheep, donkeys and possible a bull! Many homes has nacimientos and towns have very elaborate displays in the centre of town. Some towns show the scenes leading up to the birth of Jesus and others use real actors. One town in Spain shows 25 different scenes and uses 180 actors. As a results, these nacimientos have become tourist attractions all over Spain.

10 Christmas Vocabulary ¡Feliz Navidad!- Merry Christmas! ¡Felices Fiestas!- Seasons Greetings! árbol de Navidad- Christmas tree regalo de Navidad- Christmas present adornos de Navidad- Christmas decorations una corona de Navidad- Christmas wreath la comida del día de Navidad- Christmas dinner un tarjeta de Navidad, un crismas- a Christmas card un villancico- Christmas carol Baltasar, Gaspar, Melchor- Balthasar, Gaspar, Mechior (3 wise men/3 kings) los Reyes Magos- The three kings, three wise men el muérdago- mistletoe el acebo- holly el espumillón- tinsel un auto de Navidad- a nativity play pastores- shepherds los ángeles- angels un burro- donkey Papá Noel- Santa Claus ¡Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!- Merry Christmas and a Happy/Prosperous New Year!

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