As we are firmly into the party season, it seems fitting that we should take a break from the more serious aspects of learning grammar and take a look at some festive Spanish phrases.
Below is a list of useful Christmas related words and phrases:
|Spanish ||Meaning |
|“¡Feliz Navidad!” ||Happy Christmas! |
|“¡Felices Fiestas!” ||Happy Holidays / Seasons Greetings! |
|“¡Feliz Año Nuevo!”” ||Happy New Year! |
|“Que tengas un próspero año” ||(I hope) that you have a prosperous new year. |
|“¿Qué te regalaron para Navidad?” ||What did you get for Christmas? |
|“Los tres reyes magos” ||The three wise men / the three kings |
|“Noche de reyes” ||Twelfth night / Epiphany |
|“Día de Navidad” ||Christmas day |
|“Nochebuena” ||Christmas eve |
|“Nochevieja” ||New year's eve |
|“Día de año nuevo” ||New year's day |
|“Papá Noel” ||Santa Claus / Father Christmas |
|“La virgen María y José” ||The virgin Mary and Joseph |
|“El niño Jesús” ||The baby Jesus ||“Regalos” ||Presents / Gifts |
|“Estrella” ||Star |
|“Pavo” ||Turkey |
|“Vacaciones” ||Holidays |
|“Acebo y hiedra” ||Holly and ivy |
|“Muérdago” ||Mistletoe |
|“Tarjeta de Navidad” ||Christmas card |
|“Oropel” ||Tinsel |
|“Villancicos” ||Christmas carols |
|“La misa del Gallo” ||Midnight mass |
|“Uvas” ||Grapes |
In Spain and much of the Spanish speaking world, the main Christmas celebrations begin on the evening of 24th
December. Most families will eat their main Christmas meal that evening, then attend more celebrations or perhaps midnight mass.
Children may be given some presents on the evening of 24th
or on the 25th
during the day. However, it is more likely they will receive most of their gifts on the 6th
January (twelfth night / epiphany). This symbolises the time that the three wise men (or three kings) brought gifts to the baby Jesus.
Days like 26th
December (Boxing day), are not observed as a holidays, and are normal working days for most people.
New year’s eve is known as “nochevieja” in Spanish which means the old night.
A very popular tradition on this evening, is to eat twelve uvas (grapes) at midnight as the clock strikes twelve. One grape is consumed every time the clock strikes, until all twelve are eaten. Each grape represents a month of the new year, and is meant to bring good luck for the year ahead.
Food and drink play an important role over the Christmas period. Pavo (Turkey) may be eaten as part of the main Christmas meal, but equally regional favourites such as Cochinillo Asado (roast suckling piglet), Mariscos (seafood) or Cordero (lamb) often make it to the Christmas table instead.
Other Spanish favourites include: Jamón ibérico (best quality cured Ham), Turrón (a type of nougat made with almonds), Cava (Spain’s answer to Champagne), Marzipan, Mantecados (colourfully wrapped biscuits made from lard) and many other snacks and treats to consume over the festive period. Conclusion | En conclusión
All that remains is to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!