Christmas in Spain
Christmas Lights In Madrid
Chrismas is literally rung in on Christmas Eve. At midnight, the ringing bells call the families to Chrstiasm Mass. The most famous service is held at the monastery of Montserrat, high on the mountain near Barcelona where a boy’s choir is described as performing the Mass “in one pure voice”.
The Spanish Christmas dinner is never eaten until after midnight and it is a family feast! Turkey, seafood and truffles, which are kind of like mushrooms. Not the chocolate truffles we understand in America.
Then after the meal, people in Spain do not go to sleep all night. As a matter of fact, Christmas Eve is known as Esta noche es Noche-Buena, meaning this is the goodnight, therefore it is not meant for sleep! Instead of sleep, you’ll see people walking through the streets in Spain carrying torches, playing guitars and beating on tambourines and drums.
The Children put their shoes up on window sills and doorsteps to be filled with presents. And Christmas morning it’s not Santa, but the Three Wise Men that come bearing presents.
New Year’s Eve is called ‘Nochevieja’ or ‘The Old Night’ in Spain and one special tradition is that you eat 12 grapes with the 12 strokes of the clock at Midnight! Each grape represents a month of the coming year, so if you eat the twelve grapes, you are said to be blessed in the new year.
A few different languages are spoken in different regions in Spain. In Spanish Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Feliz Navidad’; in Catalan it’s ‘Bon Nadal’; and in Galician ‘Bo Nadal’.
Join me each weeknight at 8:30pm through December 21st. We will travel to a new country to see how they celebrate Christmas. Listen online at www.zradio.com
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