Updated: Dec 9, 2021
This time of the year, everyone’s talking about Christmas. Most of the houses light up all their decorations and cities turn into a spectacular mix of colourful lights and joyful spirit. Everyone’s planning family gatherings, menus and presents! However, can you manage to have a conversation in Spanish about Christmas? Do you know about Spanish traditions for Christmas? Keep reading and we’ll help you show off your Spanish language skills this festive season.
In Spanish, Christmas can be referred to as La Navidad or Navidades (in plural). One of the most important events at Christmas (apart from the presents) is to see our family and friends. Some Spanish families tend to have a big Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve (Nochebuena – the good night).
Then, the next day, Christmas day (el día de Navidad) most families go and visit their relatives to have lunch together. But also, one of the biggest Spanish Christmas traditions is celebrated the last day of the year, which is New Year's Eve (Nochevieja). On Nochevieja, you can either spend the night with your family or with your friends, and right before midnight, the last 12 seconds of the 31st of December, is when we eat our famous uvas (grapes). Twelve grapes represent the 12 months of the year and if you manage to eat the 12 grapes before the clock strikes 12am, that means you will have an amazing year.
And, what about the presents? Nowadays, more and more families are deciding to give some presents (regalos) to the children either on Nochebuena or on el día de Navidad. These regalos are brought by Papá Noel (Santa Claus). But the real Spanish tradition happens on the night of the 5th of January. This night, every single home in Spain is visited by the three wise men (Los Reyes Magos). They leave los regalos under the Christmas tree. How do you say Christmas tree in Spanish? El árbol de Navidad. When the kids wake up they find all their presents under el árbol de Navidad and the fun begins!
There is no Christmas without typical sweets. At every single house, there should be some turrón and polvorones. Turrón is a kind of nougat (usually very sweet) and made of almonds and sugar, although there are also made of egg yolk, or chocolate which is usually the kids' favourite. Polvorones are similar to shortbread cookies, but they are a bit softer. You can have them of different flavours like lemon, chocolate, and almonds, and they are made of pork fat, sugar, and flour. The perfect Christmas afternoon will be a table full of turrón and polvorones while you listen to some Christmas Carols (called Villancicos) on the radio or the TV.
We all know that this year has been a hard one. However, a new year is coming and a new list of propósitos de año nuevo (New year’s resolutions) can be written to achieve our goals or, perhaphs, make our dreams come true. At Goya Languages we want to help you get your propósitos de Año Nuevo fulfilled. Do you wish to speak a new Language? We have the Goya Method, to help you learn Spanish through communication. So, why not improving your Spanish with our conversation lessons where you will meet lots of new people while you practise? A great plan to start in January!
Whatever you are expecting to happen this new year, we hope your Christmas is filled with happiness, health, and love. From all of us at Goya Languages we want to wish you Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo.
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Text: Ana Pérez
Editing: Paula Ruiz
Pictures: Wix, Pixabay, Unsplash, Paula Ruiz