¡Feliz navidad! y ¡feliz año! – How the Spanish do Christmas and New Year

Even though it’s bad luck to talk about Christmas in the new year, i’m going to do it anyway because i was caught up in all the festivities to do it at the time!

Well i’m a big big Christmas lover myself however in Spain it’s not a massive deal like it is in Britain and the US with lots of crazy decorated houses, christmas markets, dressed up Santa Claus’s everywhere. It actually hardly felt like Christmas minus the fact it was getting colder and classes even went all the way up until the 23rd of December 😦 sob sob

In Spain their Christmas tradition is different, for most people on the 24th they go to mass and then on the 25th they have a big family meal. However they don’t receive any gifts on that day because ‘Santa Claus’ doesn’t bring them gifts. The Three Kings are the gift bearers on the 6th of January so everyone receives gifts then. Pretty strange but really interesting cultural difference.

Now on to New Year. Since the majority of students would be spending new year back in their home towns and not in Salamanca, the university decided to throw a massive party in  La Plaza Mayor as a kind of early new years eve party. It was crazy with a concert, dancers, fireworks and a massive street party. A great send off for people going home early for Christmas and a lot of fun. (the Spanish certainly do know how to through a party) Another interesting tradition that the Spanish keep at new years is that they eat 12 grapes on the last 12 chimes before midnight! Sounds easy but trying to swallow a grape in a second then stuff another one after another one in your mouth is an impossible challenge!

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About as Christmassy as it got in Spain – but still pretty cool

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Concert in La Plaza Mayor for la nochevieja de la universidad

I am back in Salamanca now after spending a few weeks back at home and it’s good getting back into the swing of things and speaking Spanish (which surprisingly was a bit rusty when i got back even though i was only away for 2 weeks!) However exam season is in January which means after all the festivities I’ve got to hit the books.

I can’t wait for these exams to be out the way, start my second semester in February and see what more exciting adventures it brings!

Hasta luego

Nina

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