Christmas - La Navidad Culture:

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Christmas - La Navidad Culture:

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Christmas - La Navidad

Culture: Spain



How is Christmas Celebrated in Spain?

Reading Article: How to Celebrate a Traditional Spanish Christmas2. Vocabulary- Definitions

3. Word Search Puzzle4. Singing –Feliz Navidad Song


How to Celebrate a Traditional Spanish Christmas By Susan Steen,

eHow Contributor Did you know that in Spain, people celebrate more than twelve days of Christmas? While Spain and the United States share many Christmas holiday traditions, several popular customs and festivities practiced in Spain are unique to that country. We may not be able to participate in all of Spain’s holiday traditions such as the National Christmas Lottery, or shopping at the Christmas Markets, but we can replicate many Spanish holiday traditions in our very own countries.


1On Christmas Eve night, Spanish families celebrate by eating the

first of two consecutive feasts. Then, at midnight, the ringing of the bells signals the start of the candlelight mass, known as "La Misa Del Gallo" or “The Mass of the Rooster.” Midnight masses are conducted on Christmas Eve in churches throughout the United States and in most other countries. It is an excellent way to celebrate the official start of the holiday season, and is certain to inject you with a large dose of Christmas spirit.


2In Spain, most of Christmas Day is spent at church, followed by outdoor festivities that include "swinging." For this occasion, swings are placed in town squares and other outdoor meeting places, and children swing in time to the live music and other fun outdoor activities. No gifts are exchanged on Christmas Day


simulate this tradition, arrange for family and friends to meet after church in a park that has swings. Provide some type of Christmas music and Spanish holiday treats, such as marzipan, “almendrados”—almond cookies or “medias lunas de nueces”—nut crescents.In Spain, the Christmas feast is served after midnight, followed by singing and celebrating for the rest of the night.


3December 28 marks the Day of the Innocents.

This is similar to the U.S.’s April Fool’s Day in that family and friends play jokes on each other. In Spain, the newspapers print bizarre and fabricated stories for a laugh.4

Like many other countries, Spain celebrates New Year's Eve with massive fireworks exhibits and a toast at the midnight hour. The Spanish also eat twelve grapes on this occasion, to bring good luck during each of the twelve months of the year.5On the evening of January 5, the

Eve of the Epiphany, the children place their shoes outside their doors in hopes that the Three Wise Men will leave gifts when they pass by. This Twelfth Night tradition might best be mimicked by families with children old enough to delay the gratification of opening gifts on Christmas morning.


6January 6th, the Epiphany or “appearance,” heralds the three wise men’s visit to the meet the baby Jesus in Bethlehem

. All of Spain celebrates this occasion with parades and more sweet treats for the children. This celebration marks the close of the Christmas holiday season.

Read more: How to Celebrate a Traditional Spanish Christmas |


Name_____________________ Period___ Christmas Culture

 Use your Traditional Spanish Christmas word shear vocabulary list. Write an explanation of the 9 words and it’s importance or meaning in celebrating Christmas.


Candlelight MassJanuary 6thThree Wise Men

Day of the Innocents


del Gallo”

Twelve grapes




-almond cookies






Candlelight Mass


January 6th

Three Wise Men


Day of the InnocentsDia

de los inocentes


Misa del GalloMidnight Mass


Twelve Grapes d

oce uvas



Who is the giver of Christmas gifts to children in Spain?

When do children from Spain get their Christmas gifts? DateWhen does the Christmas season end in Spain? (date)





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