Spanish Christmas Traditions
Christmas is an important event for the Spanish people just the same as it is for the people living in the other regions of the world. But Christmas is even more festive and enthusiastically celebrated in Spain as compared to the other regions of the world. Their festivals start on 8th of December, where the day starts with the clean and tidy feast, which occurs in front of the great Gothic cathedral in Seville. Then a special dance is presented in front of everyone that is specially prepared by a group of ten boys, who are dressed up in special costumes and their dance contains special steps and gestures that are reserved for the festival of Christmas. This ceremony is known as “Los Seises” or you may call it “dance of six”.
They call the Christmas eve “Nochebuena” or “the goodnight” and on that night, they lit tiny candles and oil lamps in their houses which gives the appearance of stars in the sky. After having a festive dinner of Christmas, all of them gather around the nativity scenes in their homes.
Spanish people use Turron, as their Christmas treat, which is an almond coated in sugar in many different flavors. They have a special dance for Christmas called “jota”, which they perform in the streets. After having festive Christmas dinner, they dance in streets and towns all over the country. This dance is escorted with musical instruments that include guitars and other modern instruments too. The dance gestures for jota and the music and lyrics on which jota is performed is said to be centuries old.
Spanish Christmas is most religiously influenced. They give special respect and importance to the cow as they have a belief that the cow kept Jesus warm with its warm breath when Jesus was born in the stable of a cow. In addition, the cathedrals and the churches are decorated with manger scenes which are most often carved figures and Spanish people gather around it to sing carols and to perform special dance. The Spanish children receive gifts from the three wise men, by attracting the three wise men’s horses through putting their shoes at doorsteps and window sills on 6th of January. These gifts are a treat for the children on this special occasion of Christmas.