Nochebuena y Navidad

Christmas is one of the biggest holidays in Spain, alongside Easter, and it marks the beginning of a two-week winter break. It’s a widespread tradition celebrated by both religious and non-religious families and, even though some aspects may vary throughout the country, here’s what most Spanish people do on those days:

December 22nd: The national lottery. Despite not being directly related to Christmas celebrations and not being a holiday, it’s a big deal in Spain. Many people buy lottery tickets to share with family, friends or co-workers and follow the live broadcast.




December 24th: on this day, called “Nochebuena” (Christmas Eve), many families gather to have dinner together. The menu usually consists on elaborate dishes which include expensive seafood or roast meat, and the dessert is the popular “turrón”, and also shortbread cookies and even Italian panettone. In Catalonia it is believed that “Caga Tió” is the one brining the gifts. It’s a log with a face and a red hat, which children feed for a few weeks before they poke it with a stick to get the presents out of its “belly”.



December 25th: depending on the area and each familiy’s traditions, they may gather on the 25th to open Santa’s presents and have lunch instead of dinner. This is the case in Catalonia, where people eat a soup called “escudella” (with pasta, “meatballs”, chickpeas, etc.) and stuffed turkey or chicken.





December 26th: this day is only a holiday in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. Families or friends gather (again) to eat cannelloni and soup, made from what was left from Christmas feasts.





How do you celebrate Christmas in your country? Do you eat a lot, too? :P

Let us know in the comments!


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- Imagen Lotería: por Thirunavukkarasye-Raveendran. Estraída de Wikipedia, con licencia Creative Commons BY CC 4.0
- Imagen Tió: por Toniher. Extraída de Wikipedia, con licencia Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
- Imagen Escudella: por Emi Yañeez. Extraída de Flickr, con licencia Creative Commons BY CC 2.0 (recortada)
- Imagen Canelons: por Juan Emilio Prades Bel. Extraída de Wikipedia, con licencia Creative Commons CC BY-Sa 4.0

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