Crib and Christmas Tree People usually set up a crib which shows figures that represent the birth of Jesus. The figure of Jesus is not on the crib until Christmas Day, because he hasn’t still been born. People also decorate their houses with a Christmas tree. The picture on the left shows my own crib last Christmas.
22nd December This is a very important day in Spain,because itis when the popular Christmas Lottery draw takes place. It is held in Madrid, the capital city of Spain. It has been organized every year since 1812. There are several prizes and the biggest one, known as “El Gordo”, was 3 million euros this time (2.291.019,07pounds).
23rd December This is the day in which all the family buy presents, food, drink and many more things for the Christmas preparations.
Christmas Eve is the day on which the whole family gather for dinner. Children usually play videogames, board games or something like that, while adults prepare the dinner. At nine o’clock the king of Spain, Juan Carlos I, gives his traditional Christmas speech on tv, and he wishes us a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 24th December
The King’s Christmas Speech I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
25th December “The Nativity” is one of the most important celebrations of Christianity, because it commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. This is the day when Baby Jesus is put on the crib, because he has just been born.
These days are not particularly special, but they are school holidays. Most families usually do things together. They go shopping, watch films on tv or go to the cinema. From 26th to 30th December
28th December There are a lot of associations, foundations and tv programmes that get money by means of donations in order to give it to disabled children on this date. 28th December is special, because it´s Fools' Day in Spain. Children usually play tricks on other people.
31st December New Year´s Eve is the last day in a year, and the whole family meet again for dinner. People usually eat seafood, fish and suckling pig or lamb.
Roasted suckling pig Prawns
Galician-style octopus. Cuttlefish, shellfish, cheese, spiced sausages and prawns.
The Twelve Grapes After dinner people prepare 12 grapes, and just at midnight we eat one grape on each stroke of the clock . Then we wish each other a Happy New Year and kiss each other. It’s said that if you have eaten twelve grapes before twelve o’clock you will have good luck during the next year; and it’s also said that if you wear something red on New Year’s Eve, you will be lucky.
1st January On New Year’s day people don’t usually work. They usually stay at home with their families or friends and maybe they go to church.
2nd, 3rd and 4th January These days aren’t very special, but you can hear everybody saying “I wish you a Happy New Year”.
5th January This is one of the most important days for children because of the Three Wise Men parade. The Three Kings bring presents for everybody tonight and children get very excited watching the Kings’ carriages . Then all children go home, have their dinner and prepare some dinner for The Three Wise Men too. They have to go to bed early, because The Three Wise Men will come at night and leave everybody presents under the tree or next to their shoes. These are the Three Wise Men (from left to right): Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar.
The Cavalcade of The Three Kings These are Melchior’s, Caspar’s and Balthasar’s carriages.
The Cavalcade of The Three Kings These are some other carriages with people wearing costumes.
6th January This is the day of The Three Wise Men. They brought Jesus gold, frankincense and myrrh. Catholic tradition says that their journey to Bethlehem took twelve days and they arrived on Epiphany. People have followed this tradition for many years and it has continued with all the children until now. When children get up, they run to see their presents and play with them.
Lottery Draw In the morning of 6th January the other important lottery draw takes place, “ Sorteo del Niño” (“Niño” refers to Baby Jesus), and theprize can be 2 million euros (1.660.705.08pounds).
TheThree Kings Cake (Roscón de Reyes) At aboutsix pm peopleeatthiscake, usually with hot chocolate. It’s a ring-shaped cake with sweetened fruits, almonds and many more ingredients. There are also some trinkets in it: coins, small figures and a bean. If you find the coin or the small figure in your piece of cake, it’s yours and you have been lucky; but if what you find is the bean, you have not been lucky and you will have to pay for the cake next year.