Feliz Navidad

I really like Christmas. I love to see the decorations, hear the music, buy the presents and all that comes with it! My first year in Spain I was really curious about what Christmas would be like. In 2002 I was really disappointed with my non-existent Christmas in Morocco (shoulda figured, what with Christ not a major religious figure there and all). It was even worse than the years we didn’t go to Cape Breton for Christmas to visit my grandparents as a kid!

Back to Christian Spain. My first year here I learned a lot! For the whole holiday season there are traditions which are quite fun, allow me to share some.

Belen

Each city beautifully decorates the streets with Christmas themed lights! It is quite common to see Christmas trees and pointsettas here, but no home is complete without a Nativity Scene or Belen (in Spanish). There are markets set up in the streets of major cities just to buy figurines for your set. It is serious business here- with palm trees, working water wells, all the major players (baby Jesus, the kings, Mary and Joseph, shepherds and their flocks). Churches and cities put up big belens. Another figurine that is included in the nativity scene in Spain is the Caganer. Conil has a Belen which I will try and get pictures of soon!

The Hanging Santa

hanging santa

These are scene hanging on buildings all over. I don’t get it – even Spaniards know that Santa comes down a chimney!

Christmas Eve

This is the night when the biggest feast is served (and there are quite a few nights with big feasts)! There is probably a traditional mass as well, but I have never been to one.

Red Undergarments

red undies

As it turns out, for New Year’s Eve couples buy each other red underwear to wear! The next morning when they wake up together thy burn the red underwear for good luck! Red underwear is on sale everywere! Now I know why …

12 Grapes

12 grapes

The last twelve seconds of the year Spaniards eat twelve grapes in order to bring luck for the next twelve months! Imagine trying to stuff, chew, eat and swollow a grape in only a second!In all honesty I believe they slow down the clock on tv in order to keep the peace! You can even buy 12 grapes in a can in a grocery store just packaged just for New Years! After everyone conquers the grapes the champange starts flowing freely and then, naturally, everyone dances.

January 6th

3kings

Traditionally gifts are opened on the 6th of January because they are brought by the three kings (not Santa Claus). Kids these days get gifts on both the 25th of December and the 6th of January. There is even a parade to celebrate the Kings coming to town on the fifth!

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5 thoughts on “Feliz Navidad

  1. Lindsay;

    I didn’t know you had a blog until Lori told me yesterday? Weird eh?

    I wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Since you are far away, I wanted to give you a gift this year of a kind word.

    I want you to know that you are the most amazing young person that I ever had the priviledge of Pastoring and that now as an adult I am amazed by your life and the greatness of what you will continually accomplish.

    Merry Christmas.

    Jason

  2. Lindsay,
    I just realized that I forgot to share the link love with you, so you are up and running now. Also I am sorry for not sending Jason the link to your blog. He’ll like it. I thought he would get it from my sight until I realized it wasn’t on my sight.

  3. They say ya figure something out every day …

    Jason thanks so much for your kind message! What you wrote was very nice and probably one of the greatest gifts I will receive this year!

    I am very thankful to have you and Lori in my life – you both have helped me so much through the years! Hopefully I have helped you as well. I am really glad that you both got to meet Juanito this summer!

    I miss you guys. Won’t you come and visit us?

  4. Lori,

    thanks for the link love! One day I might have a blog following like you! Just kidding, I don’t think my content is the type to inspire, like yours!

    Have a beautiful Christmas! I would love to see Christmas morning pictures! This year I have to figure out a way to incorperate Wifesaver (recipe: http://www.recipe-source.com/holiday/christmas/00/rec0003.html ) into our new Spanish Christmas mornings. My in-laws aren’t big breakfast people, but it is tradition in the MacNeil house.

    What purpose does fake presents serve? Practice wrapping?

    Love you!!!

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