Does Spain Celebrate Christmas On 25Th?
- Víctormanuel Paz
Christmas in Spanish – Although Christmas Eve isn’t until December 24, Christmas always comes to Spain a few days early, on December 22. That’s the day the winning numbers of the hugely popular Spanish Christmas Lottery are drawn and announced in song by schoolchildren on live TV.
In the months leading up to this event, many Spaniards buy lottery tickets and wait to see if their number will be lucky that year. Once the lottery prizes have been announced, the holidays have officially started, and everyone starts making final preparations for the big celebrations.
Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena in Spanish, is celebrated on December 24 and is generally a family affair. Usually, members of the extended family gather around a feast of meat, wine, typical foods not eaten at other times of the year, and all kinds of desserts.
- For devout Catholics, there’s an important event after dinner: it’s time to go to a special midnight mass called the Misa del Gallo;
- Church-goers celebrate the birth of the Son of God by singing famous and traditional Christmas carols accompanied by guitars, hand drums, and tambourines;
In many homes, especially ones with children, Nochebuena is a very exciting night: it’s when Santa Claus (in Spanish, Papá Noel) brings gifts to all the children who have been good during the year. Some regions of Spain have their own traditions: in the Basque Country, it’s Olentzero who leaves the gifts, while children from Cataluña and Aragón receive gifts from Tió de Nadal.
At this point, Christmas has only just begun! December 25 is Christmas Day. Even after the enormous Christmas Eve dinner, on Christmas Day the family comes together to eat again, but not as much as the night before.
Especially in families with young children, this day is a time to show find out what Papá Noel brought everyone. The streets fill with children trying out their new roller skates, bikes, and remote control cars. Even after December 25, there are still plenty of Spanish Christmas traditions to uphold before the end of the year.
On December 28, Spain celebrates el Día de los Santos Inocentes (Holy Innocents’ Day). This is another Catholic tradition that has evolved over time and been adapted to the modern world. Today, it is celebrated as a kind of Spanish April Fool’s Day when people play pranks ( bromas o inocentadas ) on each other.
On this day, don’t believe everything you see or hear — chances are good that somebody’s pulling your leg. We’ve finally made it to December 31, the last day of the year. While Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) is celebrated as a family, Nochevieja (New Year’s Eve) is celebrated with friends.
After dinner and time for socializing, Spaniards spend the final moments before the clock strikes midnight preparing to ring in the new year. People gather in plazas or homes to eat the 12 uvas de la suerte ( 12 lucky grapes ).
During the last 12 seconds of the year, everyone eats 12 grapes so that luck will be on their side for the whole year to come. After midnight, the new year begins and people go out to celebrate it in style. For many, January 1 is a day to sleep in and recover from the night before.
- But Christmas still isn’t over! January 5 is a very exciting day for the youngest members of a Spanish family;
- All afternoon, each city organizes a special event in which large floats parade through the streets carrying musicians, artists, people in costume, and, most importantly, the Tres Reyes Magos (the Three Kings) , who wave to all the children of the city;
After the parade, families return home for an early dinner so the children can clean their shoes and leave them in the living room. This way, when the Tres Reyes Magos visit the home in the wee hours of the morning, they’ll know where to leave the presents for each member of the family.
When they wake up on the morning of January 6, children across Spain jump out of their beds and run to the place they left their shoes the night before to see what gifts the Three Kings of Orient have left for them.
The only bad thing about the afternoon of January 6 is that children know that their vacation is ending and school is about to begin again, and adults are reminded that they’ll have to get back to the daily grind. Little by little, everything goes back to normal… until the next Christmas season.
Is December 25 a holiday in Spain?
Is Christmas Day a Public Holiday? – Christmas Day is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, 25 December 2022 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in Spain. Many people celebrate Christmas Day with a festive meal. ©iStockphoto. com/DNY59.
What day is Christmas Day in Spain?
Six Ways to Celebrate the New Year – You could celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain an amazing six times if you really want to, with five times in December alone. The first New Year’s Eve in Spain comes in mid-December (usually the second Thursday before Christmas).
It is the Noche Vieja Universitaria (University New Year), which takes place in Salamanca. The students pretend it is not mid-December and go through all the usual New Year’s Eve traditions, including the famous grape-eating.
Next up is midday (not midnight) on December 30, in Puerta del Sol in Madrid, for the ensayo de las campanadas (bell-ringing rehearsal). This is actually the first of three rehearsals that the local organizers do to make sure everything is working for the following day, but this celebration is for those who can’t attend the real celebration because of prior commitments or for those who can’t handle the idea of all the crowds that will congregate on the actual day.
Puerta del Sol is as busy as Times Square New Year’s Eve proper. Later on in the same day is often the Campanadas Alternativas para Frikis (alternative bell-ringing for geeks), which takes place at Plaza de Castilla, in front of the Pac-Man tree they have set up there The Spanish friki (geek or nerd) subculture is quite big.
Also on December 30, at 8 p. , the town of Lepe in Huelva, Andalusia celebrates New Year’s Eve early (and they celebrate it again the following day too). Then, of course, comes the real New Year’s Eve, December 31. You may be surprised that, for a country famous for its drinking, that most bars will be closed on the stroke of midnight.
This is because most people spend time with their families. However, the city’s main square will certainly give you that communal New Year’s feeling. They still party, but it doesn’t start until later. Lastly, there is “New Year’s Eve in August,” which takes place in in the tiny village of Berchules, Granada on the first Saturday of the month.
This unique tradition started because a power cut in the mid-nineties meant that New Year’s Eve celebrations had to be canceled, so they rescheduled the big event for August. The re-run was such a success that they’ve held this second New Year celebration ever since.
What country celebrates Christmas on the 25th?
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What is the last day of Christmas in Spain?
Travel Safe Advice for travelling safely Latest news Tourists enjoying Christmas none Christmas is perhaps the most traditional, family-oriented celebration in the whole world, and in Spain it lasts until 6th January. Visiting the country between the middle of December and the start of the New Year is a time that’s always full of lovely moments for sharing. Here are five of the most popular Christmas traditions in Spain.
- Drawing the balls of the national lottery.
Is 24th December a holiday in Spain?
Is Christmas Eve a Public Holiday? – Even though Christmas Eve falls on Saturday, 24 December 2022, it is a working day. Most businesses follow regular opening hours in Spain. Christmas trees are decorated with baubles, lights and tinsel during the Christmas season. ©iStockphoto. com/GMVozd.
How is Christmas in Spain different from Christmas in the US?
The Three Kings – One of the most unique facts about Christmas in Spain is that there’s no Santa Claus. Forget Saint Nick – in Spain, it’s the Three Kings or the Three Wise Men (known as Reyes Magos – Melchior, Gaspar and Baltazar) who bring the gifts to good children at Christmas time.
They also don’t come on Christmas Eve. Instead, towns and cities hold huge Three Kings parades (‘cabalgatas’) on the night of January 5th, where the Kings parade through the towns on floats and throw out sweets for the kids.
It’s one of the most wonderful Spanish Christmas traditions you can’t miss! When the families return home, they leave out their shoes for the Kings to fill with gifts during the night. If it’s too long to wait for pressies, don’t worry. These days, some kids in Spain also open a few presents on Christmas day too, so you can have double the fun! That’s also not the only version of Santa Claus in Spain.
- In Galicia, a mythical coal miner called El Apalpador feels children’s stomachs to see if they’ve been eating well and leaves behind little treats like chestnuts and sweets;
- The Basques also have their own, more rugged, version of Santa – the mythical giant Olentzero;
He wears peasants clothing, smokes a pipe and brings gifts for children on Christmas Eve, in return for food and alcohol. RELATED CONTENT: Northern Spain Holidays: Discovering the Green Side of Spain.
What happens on 22nd December in Spain?
Christmas Presents – Regalos Típicos Most Spanish people keep their fingers crossed for a Christmas windfall, courtesy of the world-renowned lottery draw, El Gordo, literally The Fat One. This is a long, drawn-out event that unfolds on the morning of December 22nd.
What countries don’t celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December?
Countries That Don’t Celebrate Christmas – Okay, let’s talk about the countries that don’t recognise Christmas as a public holiday. Basically, these are the countries where the most popular religion is not Christianity. Afghanistan, Algeria, Bhutan, North Korea, Libya, Mauritania, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen. These are Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan , Qatar, Thailand, Turkey , Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. December 25th is a public holiday in Pakistan, but not because of Christmas. It is in memory of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Same in Taiwan. The day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the 1947 Constitution of the Republic of China.
Is Christmas on 24th or 25th?
Christmas is on Dec. 25, but it wasn’t always. Dec. 25 is not the date mentioned in the Bible as the day of Jesus’s birth; the Bible is actually silent on the day or the time of year when Mary was said to have given birth to him in Bethlehem. The earliest Christians did not celebrate his birth.
As a result, there are a number of different accounts as to how and when Dec. 25 became known as Jesus’s birthday. By most accounts, the birth was first thought — in around 200 A. — to have taken place on Jan.
Why? Nobody knows, but it may have been the result of “a calculation based on an assumed date of crucifixion of April 6 coupled with the ancient belief that prophets died on the same day as their conception,” according to religionfacts. com. By the mid-4th century, the birthday celebration had been moved to Dec.
25. Who made the decision? Some accounts say it was the pope; others say it wasn’t. One of the prevalent theories on why Christmas is Dec. 25 was spelled out in ” The Golden Bough ,” a highly influential 19th century comparative study of religion and mythology written by the anthropologist Sir James George Frazer and originally published in 1890.
(The first edition was titled “The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion”; the second edition was called “The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. ” By the third printing, in the early 20th century, it was published in 12 volumes, though there are abridged one-volume versions.
- ) Frazer approached the topic of religion from a cultural — not theological — perspective, and he linked the dating of Christmas to earlier pagan rituals;
- Here’s what the 1922 edition of the “The Golden Bough” says about the origins of Christmas, as published on Bartleby;
com : An instructive relic of the long struggle is preserved in our festival of Christmas, which the Church seems to have borrowed directly from its heathen rival. In the Julian calendar the twenty-fifth of December was reckoned the winter solstice, and it was regarded as the Nativity of the Sun, because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase from that turning-point of the year.
- The ritual of the nativity, as it appears to have been celebrated in Syria and Egypt, was remarkable;
- The celebrants retired into certain inner shrines, from which at midnight they issued with a loud cry, “The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing!” The Egyptians even represented the new-born sun by the image of an infant which on his birthday, the winter solstice, they brought forth and exhibited to his worshippers;
No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a son on the twenty-fifth of December was the great Oriental goddess whom the Semites called the Heavenly Virgin or simply the Heavenly Goddess; in Semitic lands she was a form of Astarte. Now Mithra was regularly identified by his worshippers with the Sun, the Unconquered Sun, as they called him; hence his nativity also fell on the twenty-fifth of December.
- The Gospels say nothing as to the day of Christ’s birth, and accordingly the early Church did not celebrate it;
- In time, however, the Christians of Egypt came to regard the sixth of January as the date of the Nativity, and the custom of commemorating the birth of the Saviour on that day gradually spread until by the fourth century it was universally established in the East;
But at the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth century the Western Church, which had never recognised the sixth of January as the day of the Nativity, adopted the twenty-fifth of December as the true date, and in time its decision was accepted also by the Eastern Church.
At Antioch the change was not introduced till about the year 375 A. What considerations led the ecclesiastical authorities to institute the festival of Christmas? The motives for the innovation are stated with great frankness by a Syrian writer, himself a Christian.
“The reason,” he tells us, “why the fathers transferred the celebration of the sixth of January to the twenty-fifth of December was this. It was a custom of the heathen to celebrate on the same twenty-fifth of December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity.
- In these solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part;
- Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day and the festival of the Epiphany on the sixth of January;
Accordingly, along with this custom, the practice has prevailed of kindling fires till the sixth. ” The heathen origin of Christmas is plainly hinted at, if not tacitly admitted, by Augustine when he exhorts his Christian brethren not to celebrate that solemn day like the heathen on account of the sun, but on account of him who made the sun.
- In like manner Leo the Great rebuked the pestilent belief that Christmas was solemnised because of the birth of the new sun, as it was called, and not because of the nativity of Christ;
- Thus it appears that the Christian Church chose to celebrate the birthday of its Founder on the twenty-fifth of December in order to transfer the devotion of the heathen from the Sun to him who was called the Sun of Righteousness…;
Yet an account titled “How December 25 Became Christmas” on the Biblical Archaeology Society’s Web site takes some issue with this theory: Despite its popularity today, this theory of Christmas’s origins has its problems. It is not found in any ancient Christian writings, for one thing.
- Christian authors of the time do note a connection between the solstice and Jesus’ birth: The church father Ambrose (c;
- 339–397), for example, described Christ as the true sun, who outshone the fallen gods of the old order;
But early Christian writers never hint at any recent calendrical engineering; they clearly don’t think the date was chosen by the church. Rather they see the coincidence as a providential sign, as natural proof that God had selected Jesus over the false pagan gods.
Furthermore, it says, the first mentions of a date for Christmas, around 200 A. , were made at a time when “Christians were not borrowing heavily from pagan traditions of such an obvious character. ” It was in the 12th century, it says, that the first link between the date of Jesus’s birth and pagan feasts was made.
It says in part: Clearly there was great uncertainty, but also a considerable amount of interest, in dating Jesus’ birth in the late second century. By the fourth century, however, we find references to two dates that were widely recognized — and now also celebrated — as Jesus’ birthday: December 25 in the western Roman Empire and January 6 in the East (especially in Egypt and Asia Minor).
The modern Armenian church continues to celebrate Christmas on January 6; for most Christians, however, December 25 would prevail, while January 6 eventually came to be known as the Feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem.
The period between became the holiday season later known as the 12 days of Christmas. The earliest mention of December 25 as Jesus’ birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs.
The first date listed, December 25, is marked: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae : “Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judea … ” So, almost 300 years after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in mid-winter.
” Bottom line: Nobody knows for sure why Dec. 25 is celebrated as Christmas. —- Here’s a little more history, this on the non-religious figure of Santa Claus. According to the St. Nicolas Center (whose Web site has a subtitle: “Discovering the Truth About Santa Claus”), the character known today as Santa originated with a man named Nicolas said to have been born in the 3rd century A.
- in the village of Patara, then Greek and now Turkish;
- It is said his parents died when he was young and that the religious Nicolas, who was raised by his uncle, was left a fortune;
- Ordained as a priest, he used his money to help others and become a protector of children, performing miracles to help them;
He was, the center says, persecuted by Roman Emperor Diocletian and buried in 343 A. in a church, where a substance with healing powers, called manna, formed in his grave. The day of his death, Dec. 6, became a day of celebration. How did this man seen as a saint become Santa Claus, the one with the red suit and white beard? The St.
Nicolas Center says Europeans honored him as a saint over the centuries, while St. Nicolas was brought to the New World by Columbus, who named a Haitian port for him in 1492. According to the center: After the American Revolution, New Yorkers remembered with pride their colony’s nearly-forgotten Dutch roots.
John Pintard, the influential patriot and antiquarian who founded the New York Historical Society in 1804, promoted St. Nicholas as patron saint of both society and city. In January 1809, Washington Irving joined the society and on St. Nicholas Day that same year, he published the satirical fiction, Knickerbocker’s History of New York , with numerous references to a jolly St.
Nicholas character. This was not the saintly bishop , rather an elfin Dutch burgher with a clay pipe. These delightful flights of imagination are the source of the New Amsterdam St. Nicholas legends: that the first Dutch emigrant ship had a figurehead of St.
Nicholas; that St. Nicholas Day was observed in the colony; that the first church was dedicated to him; and that St. Nicholas comes down chimneys to bring gifts. Irving’s work was regarded as the “first notable work of imagination in the New World. ” The New York Historical Society held its first St.
- Nicholas anniversary dinner on December 6, 1810;
- John Pintard commissioned artist Alexander Anderson to create the first American image of Nicholas for the occasion;
- Nicholas was shown in a gift-giving role with children’s treats in stockings hanging at a fireplace;
The accompanying poem ends, “Saint Nicholas, my dear good friend! To serve you ever was my end, If you will, now, me something give, I’ll serve you ever while I live. ” …. 1821 brought some new elements with publication of the first lithographed book in America, the Children’s Friend.
- This “Sante Claus” arrived from the North in a sleigh with a flying reindeer;
- The anonymous poem and illustrations proved pivotal in shifting imagery away from a saintly bishop;
- Sante Claus fit a didactic mode, rewarding good behavior and punishing bad, leaving a “long, black birchen rod;
directs a Parent’s hand to use when virtue’s path his sons refuse. ” Gifts were safe toys, “pretty doll. peg-top, or a ball; no crackers, cannons, squibs, or rockets to blow their eyes up, or their pockets. No drums to stun their Mother’s ear, nor swords to make their sisters fear; but pretty books to store their mind with knowledge of each various kind.
” The sleigh itself even sported a bookshelf for the “pretty books. ” The book also notably marked S. Claus’ first appearance on Christmas Eve, rather than December 6th. Then, in 1823, the poem “A Visit from St.
Nicholas,” later known as “The Night Before Christmas,” became popular, and the modern version of the plump Santa started to become established, what his sleigh led by reindeer and the chimney as his delivery system. By the 1920s, a jolly red-suited Santa was depicted in drawings of Norman Rockwell and other illustrators, and by the 1950s, he was portrayed as a gentle gift-giving character.
That Santa became the one kids in the United States and other parts of the world know today, though in many other countries, St. Nicholas — not Santa — is still celebrated as well. Was Nicolas real? The bottom line from the Web site on Santa: Some say St.
Nicholas existed only in legend, without any reliable historical record. Legends usually do grow out of real, actual events, though they may be embellished to make more interesting stories. Many of the St. Nicholas stories seem to be truth interwoven with imagination.
However, [certain] facts of the life of St. Nicholas could contain some part of historical truth. They provide a clear sense of his personal characteristics which are further elaborated in other narratives.
(You can read about those “facts” here in a piece titled, “Was St. Nicolas a Real Person?”) So there you have it. Some history of Christmas you may not have known before. If you made it this far, now you do.
Does Europe celebrate Christmas 24th?
Which countries celebrate Christmas on December 24? – Many European and Latin American countries exchange presents and begin their celebrations on the 24th. Countries that observe this tradition include the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil – but this is not an exhaustive list. Some families will exchange gifts at midnight so their celebrations extend into the 25th (Picture: Getty Images) December 24 represents the start of Christmas for these countries and rather than being an all-day occasion, it doesn’t typically start until the afternoon. Shops tend to stay open for last-minute shoppers until the early afternoon and festivities don’t start until the evening, when Christmas dinner will be served and presents may be exchanged. Some people wait until midnight to open their gifts while others wait until the next morning. Many will head to church at midnight on Christmas Day (Picture: Getty).
Does Spain close for Christmas?
Re: Christmas and New year 7 years ago We have spent Christmas in Mojacar in the east of Andalucía where we were doing self catering. I see why no other regions in Andalucia would be different. Anyway for the record (I know you will have other things in hand) here is roughly what will happen:- Christmas Eve:- Everything Spanish will close (shops restaurants etc).
Christmas Day:- Same. 26th Dec:- Same 27th Dec:- Spanish retail outlets will open (but could close without warning) 28th Dec:- A kind of Fools Day amongst children; time of family visitation for Spanish families (expect Spanish shops to close at any time and even the local bus driver could abandon ship midway through a journey and shift.
29th Dec:- The Spaniards will promise that the shop will remain open all day, but sudden sick leave will lead to early closure. 30th Dec:- Getting close to New Year’s Eve, again you will be promised that the Spanish shops will remain open all day, but family friends are calling and will close.
- The local bus driver, at this stage has got used to shorter shifts, so will cease operation a little earlier again;
- New Year’s Eve:- The Spanish shop owners know the anticipation of the New Year for the staff will probably close before 11;
00am, no say 10. 29am. Watch out for the fireworks at the Spanish midnight. New year’s Day:- Family visitation, thoughts of those who died in previous years, hangovers, the Spaniards will stay in bed until siesta time (2. 00pm) and then decide it’s siesta so back to bed.
2nd – 5th January:- Some of the Spaniards might get around to thinking that they have some kind of obligation to their employer (their shortage of money after their festivities has nothing to do with this, of course!) and will turn up for work.
Beware, though, they will spend the day talking and tricking around with their new mobile phones. Your patience will be tried here; remember, you are in Andalucia. 5th January (Night-time):- Parade of the Three Kings though every street in the town. Sweets thrown to children by “The Kings” – don’t expect to be able to buy anything.
6th January:- Festival of the Kings continues. Exchange of gifts. Kids loving every minute. Not only is every Spanish outlet closed, the blinds are pulled and execution awaits anybody seeking entry even from the shop owner.
7th January:- Some gifts which were received were not looked on the way they were looked on yesterday. The batteries ran out. The engagement ring was not presented. The mobile phones are growing stale even now. Enter a Spanish shop at your peril. 8th January:- Somewhat shopping order restored only 361 shopping days to next January 6th.
Busdriver doing full runs and even overtime. While all of the above is going on the Brit places remain open. You will need bookings for New Year’s Eve which they ring in the New Year at 11. 00pm Spanish time inconjunction with the BBC.
You probably will require bookings to eat out on Christmas Day also. If you go to the coast you can swim in the daytime sunshine and walk in your shorts while the Spaniards look on wearing overcoat, hat, gloves and might think of contacting the local mental hospital because they think you are mentally ill while swimming.
What happens on the 22 of December in Spain?
Christmas Customs in Spain – 24th December marks the beginning of Pascuas de Navidad in Spain. It is a period of celebration that continues until 6th January. However, for many, the Christmas holidays begin on 22nd December the Loteria de Navidad takes place.
Known as El Gordo (‘the fat one’), it’s the biggest lottery in the world, with 98% of the population participating. It has a total payout of nearly $3 billion, with a 1 in 6. 5 chance of winning a prize, which range from 20 euros to 400,000 euros.
A traditional feature of the televised Christmas draw is the participation of students from Madrid’s San Ildefenso school. Every time a numbered ball is drawn, two uniformed schoolchildren sing the ball’s number and the corresponding prize amount.
Are shops open in Spain on Boxing Day?
The five key holiday dates are Dec 24, Dec 25, Dec 31, Jan 1 and Jan 6. Bars and restaurants are open on most of these days but shops, museums and other businesses and attractions could be shut on the afternoon of Dec 24, all day on Dec 25, the afternoon of Dec 31, all day Jan 1 and all day on Jan 6.