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The Magic of Spain, Issue #008- Newsletter
December 03, 2005

It s Linda Plummer here from

to deliver your monthly update on Spain via the
newsletter The Magic of Spain.

As we are fast approaching the festive season
(stop groaning!), I promised last month to describe
traditional Christmas celebrations in Spain.

So ... here you have them! See how they compare with
what you do you in your home country!

* * * * * * * * * *

Traditionally, Spanish children did not receive
presents on Christmas Day but on Three Kings Day
on 6 January.

Decorations were not centred on the Christmas tree
but around a nativity scene.

Nor was turkey recognized as the main part of the
festive meal.

However, with so many residents from other countries,
plus the commercial benefits, all this is gradually
changing. Now, there tend to be double celebrations in Spain!

Firstly, are the traditional celebrations, and then the
celebrations adopted from other cultures!

For a typical Spanish family, celebrations start on
Christmas Eve with a big, slap-up meal about 9-10 pm.

This will probably start with seafood or fish. "Angulas"
or tiny baby eels from the north of Spain are also
very popular. It will be followed by meat or poultry.

The meal is rounded off with "turron" - a Spanish
sweet made chiefly out of almonds and honey.

Many will then head for the local church to attend
Midnight Mass. Youngsters will party until dawn
(or later!) whilst other family members will head
for home and bed.

Christmas Day itself used to be a fairly quiet affair.
Nowadays, however, most Spanish children will expect
Santa Claus to visit them!

Boxing Day is not yet recognized in Spain though.

The next celebration is New Year s Eve or "Nochevieja".

Again, there will be a sumptuous meal about 10 pm
and then, just before midnight, the TV will be switched
on (if it isn t already!) to watch the chiming in of
the New Year at "La Puerta del Sol" in Madrid.

As each chime of the clock sounds, you must eat a grape.
If you succeed in eating the 12 grapes, you will enjoy
good health and happiness in the following year.

Then, you toast the New Year with plenty of "cava" -
or Spanish champagne.

The big celebration for children takes place on 6 January.

In most towns, on the evening of 5 January, there
is a procession of the Three Kings, where they throw
out sweets to the children.

During the night, while the children are asleep, the Kings
will visit and leave gifts to all good children, or a
lump of coal to the bad ones! Fortunately, it would seem
there are very few naughty children in Spain!

And that will be the end of the Christmas celebrations
until the following year!

You can check out Spanish Christmas traditions in more detail at:

* * * * * * * * * *

At this point, I usually remind you of my FREE Spanish
e-book which you can download at:

But this month, whilst dealing with the subject of the
Spanish language, I should also like to recommend Christopher s
brilliant website at:

Hopefully, we will be having an article by Chris next year,
explaining his method and helping all those of you who wish
to learn or improve your Spanish.

* * * * * * * * * *

Following last month s newsletter about the tour of Andalucia,
I received an email from someone in Russia who obviously had
an interest in Spain but was complaining they did not have
the money to travel.

Consequently, next month s newsletter will be addressing this
problem and dealing with a subject dear to most people s hearts -
MONEY! And how to get hold of a bit of it! (Legally!)

So make the most of the Christmas festivities because hard
work lies ahead!

And remember, should you wish to get in touch with comments
or queries, you can email me at:

Feliz Navidad!

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