In Spain, the Christmas holiday season is a festive and family-oriented time that extends until 6th January, encompassing a variety of unique traditions that are deeply rooted in the country's traditional Catholic culture.
One of the most iconic customs is the elaborate Nativity scenes, known as Belen, which are displayed in homes, churches, and public spaces across the country. These scenes depict the birth of Jesus and are often accompanied by figurines representing various characters from the biblical story. For many Spanish families, setting up the Belen is a cherished tradition that brings everyone together to decorate and arrange the intricate scenes, adding a special touch to their homes during the holiday season.
Another significant tradition in Spain is the Christmas lottery, known as El Gordo, which has become an integral part of the holiday season. The lottery draw takes place on December 22nd and is a highly anticipated event across the country.
Spanish families and friends often come together to purchase tickets, and the announcement of the winning numbers is broadcasted on national television, creating an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. The lottery is deeply ingrained in Spanish culture and is regarded as a symbol of hope and prosperity, with many people eagerly participating in the hopes of winning a share of the substantial prize money.
The celebration of Three Kings Day, or Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos, on January 6th is another prominent tradition in Spain. This day marks the culmination of the Christmas season, with the arrival of the Three Wise Men who bring gifts to children. Parades and processions are organized in cities and towns throughout Spain, with the Three Kings making grand entrances and distributing sweets and small gifts to delighted children. The festive atmosphere and colorful spectacles during the Cavalcade of the Magi add an extra touch of magic to the holiday season, creating lasting memories for families and communities.