I’m so excited about Rachel’s new series for the holidays. She’s hopped on Santa’s sleigh to visit faraway friends and discover what makes Christmas unique in countries all across the globe. You might just find a couple new traditions worth adding to your list. Up, up and away Rachel!
Feliz Navidad from Spain
Sheri tells us how the Spanish celebrate with food and family.
- In Spain, Christmas is usually celebrated on Christmas Eve or ‘La Noche Buena’ in Spanish.
- The Spanish love their food and family. The holiday dinner starts late and lasts for hours. It isn’t uncommon for people to finish at midnight or later!
- Typical food on Christmas Eve is lamb. When Sheri first moved to Spain, she was an au pair for a family that had their own lamb distributing company. A whole country that needs lamb sounds great for business, right? Oh no, it meant a whole month of ridiculous hours. The father would sometimes work 48-72 hours straight without any sleep or breaks in-between. That’s a lot of lamb.
- New Year’s Eve or “Nochevieja” is also family centered. Everyone begins at home and has a nice dinner with their family.
- It’s tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each stroke of the clock counting down to midnight. I bet it’s quite interesting trying to shove 12 grapes in your mouth in 12 seconds! This is supposed to bring luck for the next 12 months.
- After the family, food and grape shoveling, it’s time to head out to meet your friends for a night on the town. The Spanish know how to party because often these festivities don’t end until the sun comes up!
- Gifts are not usually exchanged on Christmas; instead, kids wait for the Three Kings to arrive on ‘Dia de los Reyes’ on January 6th. These Kings bring gifts to the children just like they did for the Baby Jesus.
- Also on the January 6th everyone eats a piece of roscon, which is a ring of sugary, fruity bread. Eat carefully, though, because there is a tooth-breaking coin hidden inside. If you find it in your slice, you’ll have luck for the whole next year.