December in Madrid smells like Christmas. The cold is already felt in the streets, the Christmas lights illuminate the city and the markets decorate the squares. The illusion of young and old is felt in every corner. And is that in Spain, Christmas is a traditional holiday that is celebrated happily accompanied by loved ones and best friends.
In general, Spaniards decorate their houses with Christmas trees, the Bethlehem and collored balls and pots typical of the time. Also, they buy gifts, hold family and friends meetings, eat the best dishes and wish for peace and prosperity for the New Year. In short, they are endearing dates that flood everything with peace and love.
On Christmas Eve night the whole families gather for dinner, usually at the home of one of the relatives. The typical dinner is some type of baked or roasted meat, although today's dishes are very diverse, according to tastes and preferences. It is then served with champagne or cava and typical Christmas sweets are eaten, accompanied by Christmas carols sung by everyone. The tambourine and zambomba are used to accompany the songs.
December 25 is Christmas, a very special day that is also celebrated with the family, because in some Spanish families they are beginning to celebrate the arrival of Santa Claus, so all the members will find a gift by the fireplace or under the tree.
On December 31, the Spaniards celebrate the last night of the year, with joy and a lot of celebration in which meetings are with family and / or friends. It is traditional that night to wear red underwear, to attract luck. Something typically Spanish is to wait at at 12 minus 1 minute that the television will broadcast the bells (the official ones from the Puerta del Sol in Madrid) and accompany each one of them with a lucky grape. At the end, everyone toast with champagne and wishes are made, just as the next year is congratulated to all loved ones.
On New Year’s day, where there is absolutely nothing open, the streets are deserted because most sleep after the previous night of partying. It is the first day of the year and many new year concerts are organized. Many families get back together that day to eat together and celebrate the first day of the year, and the Christmas holidays continue.
The night of January 5 is very special for the little ones. That night the Reyes Magos visit all the children of Spain after receiving the letter they have sent asking for gifts. That afternoon, in most towns and cities, the Three Kings parade fill the streets with joy, candy and gifts for everyone.
Upon waking up, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, will have made the dreams of the best and the bad ones come true, they give them with (sweet) coal. It is typical of that day to eat the Roscón de Reyes, a sweet bun and filled with cream, which contains surprises: whoever touches the figure of the king, will be crowned while the person who finds the bean must pay the Roscón.
On January 6, the children play with enthusiasm with their gifts from Reyes. If a family member usually gives away to someone else, it is a typical day to visit family homes and collect gifts. And this is the last day of the Christmas holidays in Spain, before starting school again.
In this way, our High School students (Craddock, Emily, Francisco, Holly and Robert) will live a different Holiday Season, but full of enthusiasm, gifts and food ... lots of food.