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MAIN Arrow to Christmas Christmas Arrow to Christmas in Europe Europe Arrow to Christmas in Spain Christmas in Spain

Feliz Navidad - Merry Christmas in SpainThe Christmas season in Spain can be best described as 12 days of non-stop fiesta - with large gatherings of families and friends, candlelight religious services, nativity scenes & Christmas markets - and hopes for a better year, beginning with El Gordo, Spain's Christmas lottery.

The National Christmas Lottery has been a Spanish tradition since it was organized by King Carlos III in 1763, and today all eyes are on the millionaire prize, which is usually announced on nationwide TV on December 22.

The announcement of the winners is the signal for everyone else to get into serious fiesta mode as Nochebuena ("The Good Night") or Christmas Eve nears.

Christmas Tree in Madrid (4219621314)
Christmas in Madrid

Similar to Christmas traditions in Italy, a meatless seafood spectacular of lobster, shrimp, and crab is usually enjoyed in Spain on Christmas Eve. The highly anticipated dessert course on this night also may include trays of decorative marzipan, turron (nougat candy) and glasses of sparkling cava, the Spanish equivalent of champagne.

Christmas Day is usually spent quietly at home, but it is soon followed by another holiday tradition on December 28 with the observance of Day of the Innocents. This is the day when the country is engulfed in playing practical jokes on friends, and newspapers run outlandish stories to trick the public in a pecular Spanish tradition very similar to April Fool's Day.

New Year's Eve, of course, is observed with huge fireworks displays, toasts to good health and the customary eating of 12 grapes, (in Portugal, it is 12 raisins) one for each month of the year to bring good luck.

And just when the rest of the world is winding down the holiday season, Spain explodes into the final act of annual Christmas revelry on January 6th celebrating the Epiphany and the arrival of the Three Kings who parade through the streets bearing gifts for good little boys and girls. The Roscón de Reyes, or King's Cake, is a sweet bread usually served on Epiphany eve and always contains a coin, assuring the one who finds it a full year of good fortune.

More information about Christmas in Spain around the Web:

Merry Christmas from Madrid


Christmas in Spain - how the Spanish celebrate Christmas - Have a good look at the party atmosphere, holiday lights and religious observances with photos and details on Christmas Eve and Kings Day celebrations.

A Spanish Christmas - Check out the annual rites of Christmas and New Year's Eve, with descriptions of popular holiday foods and more unusual and quirky regional customs peculiar to Spain, with lyrics to the Christmas carol 'Noche de Paz' (Night of Peace).

Christmas & New Year in Madrid - Here's a travel guide with information on modern day celebrations on Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and Epiphany with practical information on typical shopping and opening hours.

Christmas in Cyberspain - This is a beautifully illustrated tribute to holiday observances, traditions, Christmas treats and celebrations.


also see in Travel -> Madrid Tourism | Touring the Alhambra Palace

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