Spain – A European Christmas Story

Christmas holidays are longer Spain.  They run from the 25th December until 6th January that is called the epiphany.  Presents are brought by the three wise men of Gold, Frankincense and Mur who are known as the three kings and children and young people when writing their list of presents would write to the three kings.

Christmas in Spain is about the importance of the nativity scene and people would have a typical stable in their homes including angels, donkey, cow and hay.  This very much highlights the importance of Spain being catholic in faith. Christmas is called “Navidad” and is a very important time of the year.   Most homes in Spain also have a Christmas tree with an angel on the top and Christmas decorations that brings in the festive cheer.

Many Christmas carols are sung in Church including silent night and midnight mass is very important where families attend church after having a big family dinner on Christmas Eve.  Singing Christmas carols takes place on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  The Spanish word for Christmas carols is: “Villancicos”

During Christmas families meet up and neighbours go round to their homes to wish them a Merry Christmas.  Families also go out to Christmas markets to buy presents for all of the family, however, these markets sell items that include arts and crafts and presents to give to all the children and all the family.  The specific markets don’t sell food compared to other countries. 

Faith is very important in Spain and the family will gather around to have a big family dinner on Christmas Eve where all the family can celebrate Christmas together and also sing Christmas carols.  It is also an opportunity to attend Midnight Mass and celebrate Christmas with family and friends. 

At Christmas the people of Spain eat a wide variety of Foods including, various meats, for example, beef, pork and cured meats.  Seafood is also very important and is eaten at Christmas.  Various cakes are eaten and drinks throughout the festive period.

A personal story:

By Javier Santana Acosta

Q1. What do you have for Christmas dinner?

Growing up in Spain my memories of a typical Christmas dinner would consist of beef, pork, lamb and a wide variety of vegetables.  Seafood is also important at Christmas time and includes, prawns and lobster.  We also have sweets including cakes and a sweet called “Turron” that is a nougat some are chocolate and almonds

Q2. What is your fondest memories of Christmas?

My fondest memories of Christmas were and still are memories of my mum making cakes and the smell of cinnamon it really is a magical time of the year.  Also all my family being together: brothers and sisters

Q3. What types of presents do you get from friends and family?

Typical Christmas presents I would give and receive from family would include, clothes and items for home.  Also bottles of drink or even a watch.  I also ask my family what they would like also.

Image shows picture of Joseph holding baby Jesus while Mary sleeps.  This image is done in sand.

Are you affected by the EU Settlement Scheme? Click here to find out more. Deadline for applications is June 2021

One thought on “Spain – A European Christmas Story

  1. Loved Javier Santana Acosta’s story of his Christmases in Spain, I have spent many Christmases there and it made me realise how much I love it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s