In Spain the big Christmas dinner is usually eaten on Christmas Eve. It can be Pavi Trufado deNavidad, which is turkey stuffed with truffles, or Pularda Asado, a young roasted hen, or even seafood. After eating, the family will usually go to Misa del Gallo, midnight mass on Nochebuena, the Spanish term for Christmas Eve.
In many places, after the mass, an old tradition is to parade through town with torches, playing guitars, tambourines, and drums and singing, Esta noche esNoche-Buena, y no es noche de dormir. ‘It’s Christmas Eve, not a night for sleeping.’ Some presents are given at this time but Epiphany, January 6th, is the main time for giving presents.
Dec. 28this Dia de Los Santos Inocentes, commemorating the night Herod the Great ordered the execution of all male babies in Bethlehem. Oddly enough, this is equivalent to our April Fool’s Day, and people try to get others to believe silly stories that day.
Finally, on January 6th, the Spanish celebrate Fiesta de Los Tres Reyes Mages, or Three Kings Day. Children write letters to the three kings, hoping to receive gifts. They leave out shoes for the kings to put their presents in and leave food and drinks for the kings and their camels. If the children have been bad, they get coal in their shoes!
Well, the Spanish really love this season and stretch it out over two weeks! Fun! Spain for Christmas, anyone?
Written by: Brent Adams