Holidays in Spain

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Christmas in Spain

History of Tradition

The history of Christmas starts over 4000 years ago. This christmas traditions were celebrated many time before Jesus was born. The 12 days of Christmas, the giving of gifts, singing songs while going from house to house, the parties, and going to the church.

Since old times, the Spanish people have celebrated the coming of winter with a very special tradition called Hogueras. With influence of the Roman holiday of Saturnalia and the Northern European tradition of a Yuletide celebration, the Spanish celebrated the Winter Solstice by jumping over the fire, as a way to protect themselves against illnesses in the new year. This was very popular in Granada.

As the Christian religion spread during the Middle Ages, Hogueras tradition lost popularity as many any other pagan traditions.

Spain has a long history that goes by the hand with the Catholic Church. The most important saint for many people in Spain is the Virgin Mary and people make tributes to her because she is Jesus´ mother and they have to be thankful to her.

The Christmas season in Spain begins on the 8 of December with the celebration of the Immaculate Conception, in her honor. Most Roman-Catholic households have some sort of image of the Virgin Mary illuminated during all the holiday season.

Preparations before 24 and during 24

In Spain the Christmas is a very celebrated season. On Christmas Eve, as the stars are coming out, people lit oil lamps in the houses and after the midnight mass and Christmas dinner, streets are filled with dancers and people that is watching them.

They have a special Christmas dance called the Jota that has been celebrated for hundreds of years. They use guitars and castanets to acompain their songs.

Children wait for the Three Wise Men to bring them their gifts. They arrive on the 6 of January, the date the Wise Men gave gifts to Jesus: Gold, incense and mire. The Spanish...
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