Useful Tips

Cavalcade of the Kings of the Magi (Spain)


This lesson is dedicated to the New Year holidays, how and when they are celebrated in Spain.

La Navidad:

The most common religion in Spain is Catholicism, so Christmas is celebrated on December 25th.
Navidad (as Christmas is called in Spanish (from the word nacer - born)) is usually spent in the family circle. Goose or duck, often seafood, is served on the festive table. On this day, they eat a lot of sweets, among which the main dessert is turrón.

Typical turrón is most reminiscent of a variety of nougat, with nuts, lemon peel, candied fruit, cocoa and chocolate, etc.
Most Spaniards buy it in stores, but some cook it themselves. Here, for example, is a recipe according to which grandmother Joey makes a turron for her beloved grandson:
The vocabulary "Food" with the words used in the recipe can be viewed here la comida

To create a festive mood, at Christmas and after (until January 7), the Spaniards listen to villancicos or Christmas songs. Below you can listen to one of the most famous Christmas songs in Spain, which is sung in many countries in other languages:
On Nav> el Belén (literally Bethlehem), which is a miniature papier-mache, plastic, clay or other material depicting an episode of the birth of Jesus Christ. Typically, the model depicts a manger, figurines of a baby, Virgin Mary, Joseph, several animals (goats, lambs, hens) and the three wise men who were the first to come to worship the born Savior.

Belen is placed in the corner of the room, often supplemented with beautiful lighting, just like a Christmas tree decorated with luminous garlands. Some are bleached with a sense of humor, and some are so detailed that they are already a work of art:

El Año Nuevo:

New Year in Spain is celebrated on December 31. It is customary to celebrate this holiday with friends, invite loved ones to visit and have fun from the heart. Probably the most important and most famous tradition on this day in Spain is eating twelve grapes. Most Spaniards come to the main square of their city in advance and bring 12 grapes with them.

At 00:00, when the clock strikes twelve times, the interval between every two strokes is about 3 seconds. During this time, you need to have time to make a wish, eat grapes and spit out the seeds in your nearest neighbor! That's right, on this day it is possible and accepted to do so. So, eating twelve grapes you can make as many desires (and spit many others).

In addition to guaranteeing the fulfillment of a wish, each grape eaten symbolizes for the Spaniards prosperity and success in each of the 12 months of the coming year, respectively.
On the streets of Spain on this day you can meet the local Santa Claus, whose Spaniards are called Papá Noel and who brings gifts to children.

To watch the video, hover over the image and wait a few seconds:

In addition, on this day it is customary to give greeting cards to relatives, let's try to write your own. We may need some words:

felicitar con motivo de. - Congratulations on.
celebrar - celebrate
desear wish
salud health
lograr éxitos en. succeed in. (el éxito - success)
amor - love
suerte - good luck
buen (mal) humor - good (bad) mood
riqueza - wealth
felicidad - happiness
de todo el corazón - from the bottom of my heart
es un placer is pleasure
siempre ser tan. como - always be like that (him). as
el beso - kiss
el abrazo - hug
con cariño - with love (with tenderness)
con respeto - respectfully
la Navidad - Christmas
el Año Nuevo - New Year
el Día de los Reyes Magos - the day of the Kings of Wizards

Here is a congratulation that Joey wrote to her grandmother:

El Día de los Reyes Magos:

It is believed that the first to come to bow to the Savior were three sorcerers, who today are called Reyes-Magos or kings wizards. Their name is Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar, an African.

The Wizard Kings ride camels (which Baltazar probably supplied them with).

Celebrated el Día de los Reyes Magos on January 6th. On this day, the main course is el Roscón or "Royal Pretzel". Joey generously agreed to share the Royal Pretzel recipe that his grandmother is preparing:
Children are waiting for the day of the kings of wizards, because on this holiday they are given gifts. It is believed that if the kid studied well and behaved, he has the right to ask for something from Reyes-Magos. Therefore, children write in advance a letter to the Kings Wizards, which looks something like this: "Dear Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar, I behaved myself well this year, please send me ... and ... and more."

In some shopping centers, Reyes-Magos often sit during the holiday and parents can agree in advance and leave a gift for their child to come there with the baby, who can talk with the Magi and receive a gift from them.

It is usually customary to leave sweets for the Kings of Wizards in the kitchen and place a bowl of grain on the windowsill or in front of the door so that the camels of the magi can eat. The next morning, children find gifts in their boots or socks.

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Lesson author - Nikita Luch