8 curious traditions in Spain at Christmas

It is a good time to write about more than just the rules in the neighbourhood communities, problems with leaks in the common areas or what taxes you have to pay. Let's take a break, because we want to tell you about some of the traditions and customs we have in Spain at Christmas time.

During such a special time as the ChristmasEach country celebrates and experiences these dates with its own customs and traditional cuisine which sometimes have a lot in common and sometimes can be completely different.

We Spaniards have our own particularities when it comes to enjoying these festive weeks, which in our case, take us until 6 January. In case you hadn't noticed, today we take a look at some of the most important Spain's most curious Christmas traditionsHave you already incorporated any?

Setting up the nativity scene

If there is one thing that characterises the Christmas decoration of Spanish homes is the nativity scene. And while in other places the lights and the details of the nativity scene are Father Christmas and their elvesand not forgetting the sprig of mistletoeThe tradition in this land has revolved for the most part around the nativity scene.

The nativity scenewhich represents the birth of the baby Jesus in the village of Bethlehem, it can be of any size, from the simplest with its three central figures (The Infant Jesus, The Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph) or the more elaborate ones, which constitute authentic miniature models and villages.

In fact, the nativity scene tradition in Spain has contributed to the large number of exhibits on these dates. historic nativity scenes and that going with the children to see the nativity scenes in different cultural and public spaces in our city is also a classic at Christmas time.

The Song of the Sibyl

The traditional Midnight Mass is officiated in Spain after dinner Christmas Eve, to celebrate the birth of Jesus. However, in Mallorca (Balearic Islands) have an even more singular tradition related to this religious act. We are referring to the Song of the Sibyllisted as Intangible Heritage of Humanity by Unesco since 2010.

It is a chant of medieval originwith Gregorian melody and without instrumental accompaniment, featuring a person dressed in a tunic, with a cape and a sword. The chanting of the Sibyl takes place in different temples in Mallorca, although the most emblematic ones are those held in the Palma Cathedral and in the sanctuary of Lluc.

The Lever

In the Galician mountainsEspecially in the area of O Courel and O Cebreiro, there is a figure that competes every year with Father Christmas. It is the Apalpadora Christmas character who every year, on the 24th and 31st December, comes to the houses to feel the children's tummies to check that they have eaten well during the rest of the year and leaves them gifts and a handful of chestnuts. One of the popular traditions of Galicia which has been revitalised in recent years.

The Holy Innocents

Each 28 December a very curious date is celebrated in Spain: the Holy Innocents. On this day, tradition dictates that pranks are played on family and friends. Its symbol is a paper doll that represents the innocent person who has fallen for the prank.

The origin of this tradition is associated with the festival of the crazies which took place in the Middle Ages between Christmas Day and New Year's Day. It was a day of carnival atmosphere in which ecclesiastical institutions were parodied, people dressed up in costumes and sang obscene tunes.

The Olentzero

To the children of the Basque Country and Navarre is the Olentzero who also leaves presents for them. He is a character who leaves the woods where he lives to give presents to children every 24th December. He is a charcoal burner good-natured, a bit of a rascal and a great lover of food and drink. Another tradition that brings happiness and joy to the youngest members of the family.

The twelve grapes

Undoubtedly, one of the spanish christmas traditions that makes them unique is that of the twelve grapesalso known as the LUCKY GRAPES. Every 31st December it is customary to take a grape for each chime of the clock at 00:00 hours to welcome the first day of the year and to invoke good luck.

The origins of this tradition can be found in the 19th century, when it was already practised by some bourgeois, drinking grapes and champagne at private parties, but it became popular in 1909, when there was a white grape harvest surplus in Alicante and a whole campaign was launched to link it to New Year's Eve and spread the custom. And they succeeded.

Roscón de Reyes

Each 6 January on Epiphany cake is one of those traditions that is so much a part of our own and which causes endless queues in patisseries and bakeries all over the country. After Epiphany, it is typically eaten for breakfast, as a dessert after lunch or as an afternoon snack.

This large sweet doughnut-shaped doughnut hides inside it a broad bean and a small figure. Whoever finds the bean in his piece has to pay for the roscón, and whoever finds the figurine, in addition to keeping it as a souvenir, has to be crowned king. That is why the roscón is sold with a golden cardboard crown.

The 22 December and 6 January lotteries

The 22nd of December is a day full of excitement, because on this date the extraordinary Christmas Lottery draw is held. Almost everyone wants to participate and, in the months leading up to Christmas, people buy lottery tickets that can be shared with friends or family (to spread the good fortune).

The first Christmas Lottery draw was held in 1812.. Since 1957, it has been broadcast live on television, and it is common for people to follow it live. The most emblematic thing? The children of San Ildefonso, in charge of singing the winning numbers.

As a curiosity, the 22 December It is also, unofficially, Health Day: in this way, people who do not win the lottery claim that they are at least in good health.

After the Lotería del Niño, the Lotería del Niño is, after the Lotería de ChristmasSpain's most important Extraordinary Draw.

Before it became what we know today, the Sorteo del Niño was a series of draws held as early as the 19th century for charity.to finance a children's hospital. The idea came from María del Carmen Hernández y Espinosa de los Monteros and in 1868 these games were known as El Niño.

Malva Street, Local 3 - Edif. Jazmín de Miraflores
29649 - Mijas (Málaga)

951 66 55 55





en_GBEnglish (UK)
Scroll to Top
Skip to content