Christmas in Spain

Christmas in Spain is celebrated with lots of fun and merry making with the inherent religious characteristic firmly in place. It is a religious holiday in Spain on Christmas and the entire family is seen to gather and make merry to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
The celebrations of Christmas in Spain begin around the 8th of December when the ‘Feast of the Immaculate Conception’ is celebrated. It is festive season after that and each home is decorated and readied to welcome the festival. People fondly visit the city of Seville in Spain where the tradition of Los Seises or the ‘dance of the six’ is celebrated. Costumed boys generally perform this graceful dance.
There is essentially a manger in nearly all the homes in Spain, these are decorated and completed with carved figurines. Virgin Mary is the country’s patron saint and the essence of the celebrations of Christmas in Spain is truly religious. Christmas Eve here is known as the Nochebuena or ‘the Good Night’. People prepare lavish dinners at home and visit the churches or cathedrals to offer the midnight mass.
After the mass is over, they come on the streets and rejoice. A unique dance is performed here called the ‘Jota’ and endless procession adorns the streets of Spain with dancers and singers, all cheerful and happy. The entire night is spent outdoors with many activities and ‘turron’ a kind of almond candy, special to the festival, doing the rounds.
On Navidad, the Christmas Day, people exchange gifts and greetings and go to the churches to offer prayers. The Spanish population, on this festival, holds the cow in very high regard. It is a common belief here that the cow had breathed on infant Jesus to keep him warm in the stable after Virgin Mary had given birth to him. The visit of the three wise men and the gift of the Magi is also a common belief among the people here. Little children especially hang socks near the windows anticipating gifts and presents and generally it is on the 6th of January when they celebrate the Feast of Epiphany.
During Christmas in Spain the houses and public places are illuminated with tiny oil lamps and the Nativity Scene or the crèche and the entire ambience resounds with carols and songs dedicated to the lord and these are being sung since ages.

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