Celebrate Christmas in Spain
The crib is placed in each house during the Christmas period and is a representation of the birth of the Child Jesus in the town of Bethlehem (located in the current West Bank). There are all types, from the simplest with the basic characters (the infant Jesus, Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary, the ox and the mule), to the most complete with many figures: shepherds, magicians, announcing angels, etc. There are also cribs that have become authentic works of art that people will visit during the Christmas season.
Nougat and marzipan are the traditional sweets in Spain. The first is usually made with almonds and honey, and one of the best qualities come from Jijona, in the province of Alicante. Marzipan is also produced from almond dough, molded creating various typical Christmas figures. It is usually eaten as a dessert after the main meals.
The Christmas songs
Christmas carols are typical Christmas songs, common in many countries and with normally religious themes. Songs accompanied by the tambourine and the zambomba, typical Christmas instruments.
One of the funniest traditions because it is the day of jokes that are made not only at home but also between coworkers, schools, universities, etc. The day is symbolized by a white paper doll that hangs on the back of friends without them noticing.
The grapes of New Year’s Eve
Also known as the grapes of luck, the tradition is to eat them at twelve o’clock on the night of the 31st, following the chimes of the Puerta del Sol clock in Madrid to welcome the new year. The origin of this tradition is found in the overproduction of grapes that existed in 1909 on the Costa Blanca and Levante, famous for their sweet Muscatel. The producers began a campaign to promote their consumption and it was a success.
Arrival of the Magi
Each year, in the month of December, children write a letter addressed to the Magi with what they would like to receive on January 5 as a gift. Thus, that night they shine their shoes well and place them next to the Christmas tree so that the Magi deposit their gifts there during the night, accompanied by their three camels. It is a magical night full of hope and the favorite of children in Spain.
Roscón de reyes
On January 6, once the gifts that the Three Kings have left are opened, it is common to eat the traditional roscón de reyes. It is a cake that can be filled or not with pastries such as cream or whipped cream. Inside is hidden and wrapped a small gift figure. On the Costa Blanca, Alicante and Valencia it is usual that there is also a hidden bean, and whoever finds it must pay the cost of the roscón.