How to celebrate the New Year in Spain? History, traditions, rituals
New Year in Spain is a relatively young holiday. Officially, he was recognized by the government as far back as the 16th century, but people celebrated here, like all Catholics, only Christmas. In the 20 th century, the people established a custom that was supposed to celebrate the coming of the New Year. In fact, this is the continuation of the same Christmas ceremonies, but with its own characteristics. How to celebrate the New Year in Spain? What traditions have been established in this country? How is their New Year different from ours? Answers to all questions, read below.
The origin of tradition
Many people in other countries know little about how they celebrate the New Year in Spain, according to some rules and customs. This is not surprising, because this triumph here appeared only in 1897. Then in the country there was an overabundance of the harvest of grapes and the fruits had to be disposed of somewhere. Just on the night of December 31, January 1, the harvest was taken to the central square of Madrid, where every passer-by could take as much as he wished. People began to eat grapes right on the street under the battle of the clock. Since then, a tradition has appeared, to eat exactly 12 grapes at the time of the transition of the old year to a new one. Gradually, this custom "overgrew" with traditions borrowed from neighboring countries, and the celebration of the New Year in Spain was an official celebration.
How are the Spaniards celebrating the New Year?
Unlike Christmas, which is celebrated here in the family circle, the New Year's coming is much more noisy. Since there are no ancient traditions for this holiday, people just gather in the streets, in bars, clubs, restaurants, roll parties, dances, competitions, games there. If you've ever seen with your own eyes how to celebrate the New Year in Spain, then for sure you know that the action can not do without fireworks. Fireworks rumble in all cities - small and large, people give each other champagne, dress in beautiful outfits and rest in a circle of friends, acquaintances and distant relatives.
Santa Claus ... Santa Claus ... Who here presents gifts to children?
In Spain, the same volunteer who bestows everyone on New Year's Eve, is called Olentzero. In principle, not only his name but his clothes differ from the generally accepted one. He is always dressed in a national Spanish hand-made suit embroidered with various ornaments and accessories. As an attribute, he always carries a bottle of fine wine with him, which gradually sings all his wards. To the children he leaves gifts on the windowsills of houses. In the morning, after New Year's Eve, they can unpack their gifts and thank the kind Olentzero.
New Year's Eve Spanish Cuisine
As you may have guessed, this night the Spaniards on the table have the most juicy and most hearty of their national dishes. An irreplaceable ingredient of almost every one of them is the jamon. It makes a salad with melon, citrus, it is put in meat rolls and served with second courses. Then follow the dishes with seafood. We will not list them, as each region of Spain has its own separate recipes. In the next place are sweets - almond biscuits, cakes with cumin, pies, other pastries. Necessarily on each table there should be a bottle of native wine, which was made from the harvest of the outgoing year. Well, as a dessert, grapes are served in unlimited quantities.
The Sacred Twelve Days
New Year's holidays in Spain begin on December 24, and end on January 6. The first day of the cycle begins Christmas Eve. Before Christmas, people are preparing for a family celebration. They clean the houses, prepare various goodies, decorate their homes. The next day is Christmas itself, which is accompanied by compulsory church service. December 28, the Spaniards celebrate the Day of Holy Infants. They remember all those children that Herod killed after the birth of the Messiah. Then follows the New Year's celebration. How to celebrate the New Year in Spain and on what traditions, we considered above. After him comes the last holiday - January 6, mark the day of the Magi. It is believed that they brought gifts to the newly born Jesus in the manger, when Mary was in a difficult situation.
Holidays in Spain in December
In addition to the New Year's bright festivals that take place at the end of December, during the whole month the Spaniards celebrate several important holidays for the country. The first is celebrated on the 6th, celebrating the adoption of the country's constitution on this day. Officially, this date is a day off, but the Spaniards are not satisfied with the great celebration of the constitution. The second holiday is also not very bright, but it carries a sacral significance. On December 8, the virgin birth of the Virgin Mary is celebrated. All believers on this day go to the church service and, of course, observe a strict fast.
National and religious holidays in Spain
The soul and face of the country is a sacred celebration called Semana Santa. It takes place in the pre-Easter week and always has a public character. Starting Monday, people dress in ancient prophets, put on black robes, caps and other paraphernalia, walk along the streets preaching the foundations of Catholicism. It is worth noting that this action is incredibly beautiful and even magical, and to see it and feel the whole atmosphere of the holiday, tourists from all corners of the Earth come here. The triumph under the name of bullfight is quite different. Not many holidays in Spain can boast such cruelty and brightness. The script of bullfighting is known all over the world. In the arena fighting picador and bull. As a result, one of them dies (most often an animal), which is accompanied by the play of the orchestra and the storm of exclamations and applause of the public.