Nicola Raeburn

Nicola is in Spain on her year abroad from University of Strathclyde. She is linked with Bishopbriggs Academy in East Dunbartonshire.

¡Felices Fiestas!

Hola estudiantes,

I'm writing this post in Madrid airport as I'm waiting for my flight home for Christmas. I hope the term hasn't been too bad and I'm sure you'll all as excited for Christmas as I am. 

As you can imagine, it doesn't feel much like Christmas in Sevilla - most days are 20 degrees and sunny, but they've tried their best with big árboles navideños and luces decorativas displayed throughout the city. Another very prominent decoration around the holidays are known as Belenes - they are similar to the nativity scenes we often set up in our homes but are usually a lot larger (de tamaño real) and are often displayed throughout streets and buildings in the city.

Since I last wrote to you I've started teaching a clase privada every wednesday morning, and this week my student told me all about Christmas traditions in Spain, so here I am to share some with you.

Aquí en España, en lugar de Papá Noel, normalmente los niños creen en los Reyes Magos, y también son ellos que traen los regalos. Eso ocurre la mañana del 6 de enero y cuando despierten este día, es una tradición comer un desayuno muy especial que se llama Roscón de Reyes - a ring-shaped cake topped with fruits and often filled with cream. Also, on the 5th of January, most towns and cities are filled with huge parades known as la Cabalgata de Reyes.

As well as Christmas traditions, the Spanish also have their own customs for Nochevieja (New Year's Eve). People all over the country gather in town squares or in front of their sofa to bring in the new year. La tradición más famosa y más extendida es la de las doce uvas (the twelve grapes), cuando la gente se come una uva por cada campanada a las 12 de la noche y el que se come todas tendrá un año próspero.

In comparison to el costumbre escocés, the Spanish tend to have their celebratory meal on the 24th and spend the day with family, usually eating a similar meal to us - pavo, verduras, patatas, etc - with some variations among households. 

I hope it has been interesting to learn about some of the differences between Scottish and Spanish christmas traditions. Como se dice en España, ¡os deseo un feliz navidad y feliz año nuevo!

Un abrazo para todos, Nikki

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¡Felices Fiestas! ¡Felices Fiestas! ¡Felices Fiestas!

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