How does Spain celebrate Christmas? Is Santa Claus coming too? Do they have other traditions?
CILE explains you differences in Spain regarding the christmas tradition that are important to know.
The first main difference is in Spain Santa Claus is not coming the 24th of december and the 25th of december neither! The night of the 24th December is called “Noche Buena”. But nevertheless “Noche buena” is also a very important day for Spanish families. All the family is together having lunch and dinner. Everywhere in Spain you will find a lot of christmas decoration like in other countries and many families have christmas trees at home. The cities and towns decorated their shops and on the roads are christmas lights.
The new years evening is called “noche vieja” and the translation for “Happy new year“ is “Feliz año nuevo”. At midnight they eat 12 grapes that wil fullfill your year with luck. You need to eat them very fast. So this is a very funny moment, because if you do not eat fast enough your mouth will be very full.
After New Years Evening the presents are coming!
The 6th of january is the most important day. FINALLY It is the day of giving presents! The three magic kings will come “los tres Reyes Magos” in the night from 5th to 6th of january. For this day children let their boots in front of their rooms or under the christmas tree and it will be filled with presents. This sounds like the tradition of Saint Nicholas on the 6th of december, but that is not celebrated in Spain. Furthermore the four advents do not have big importance in Spain.
Due to the 6th of january the children write letters to the three magic kings Melchior, Gaspar and Baltasar to tell them their wishes.
How to write a letter to the three magic kings?
First of all you need to choose your favourite king. Then you start with “Mis Queridos Reyes”.
Next you should thanks for receiving the letter and write about something that happened in the past year. Then you write first wishes about your family for example. You could wish a lot of health for your family and friends or for all people in the world. Then you can start to explain what presents you wish and what you need. After this you can write a wish to people or a wish for your life regarding the next year. To finish it is important to say thank you and you would be very happy to receive some of the things that you need.
“¡Que vayas bien!”