If you have been a regular reader here at Collegiate this year, you will have no doubt been enjoying our student guides to Spanish culture. With our exciting new luxury properties in cities such as Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid proving so popular, we have been leaving no stone unturned when it comes to offering our residents all the information they need to make their time in Spain a resounding success.
With this in mind and the festive season rapidly approaching, we have seen fit to bring you an ultimate guide to a Spanish Christmas time. This feature should be perfect for any students staying on the continent with their housemates over Christmas, looking to celebrate like the locals do.
Spanish Christmas Traditions
Before you start to think about celebrating in Spain at Christmas, it is of course vital to learn about the customs or traditions as they differ somewhat to what we are used to here in the UK. The most significant is probably the fact that the main meal is eaten not on Christmas Day, but on Christmas Eve. Known as “nochabuena”, this is when children take part in “piden el Aguinaldo” whereby they head out to sing carols in the hope of gifts or even money.
Pravo Trufado de Navidad
The traditional meal is “pravo trufado de navidad” which is roast turkey stuffed with delicious truffles. But bear in mind, this is the mushroom version not the chocolates, so make sure you look up a proper recipe to avoid any disasters. After eating this scrumptious meal, the Spanish then head out to The Mass of the Rooster (La Misa Del Gallo), which is a variant of our Midnight Mass.
So, if you’re searching for a student Christmas dinner which is traditional Spanish, why not give the above recipe a go. Not only will it be great fun to make with your friends, you will also feel like you are truly embracing the Spanish culture over the festive period.
Roscón de Reyes
As you may well be aware by now, the Spanish simply love their sweets and the second recipe you could try is Roscón de Reyes. This is usually as an alternative to the British Christmas cake and enjoyed after the main meal the Day of the Epiphany (January 6th). It is essentially a sweet ring of bread topped with crushed almonds and candied fruit, filled with delicious whipped cream. Look out for a small figurine inside, as whoever the lucky recipient ends up being, buys next year’s Roscón. Make sure to try whipping up this recipe with your friends this Christmas and New Year!
Spanish Christmas Decorations
Should you be heading back to the UK to spend Christmas with your family and friends back home, then the chances are you’re planning some sort of soiree in Spain before your journey. If so, then why not deck out your student digs with some classic Spanish decorations? These vary a great deal from region to region but tend to have religious connotations and not differ too much from ours. However, be sure to check out great inspiration sites such as Pinterest to see what the locals go for and really feel like you’re ending the festive period like a true Spaniard!
This article should give you some great insight into how the Spanish approach Christmas and just how this differs from us in the UK. Remember that we have all sorts of other resources here at the Collegiate site, from the best reasons to study in Spain to the best days out in your local area. Be sure to explore the rest of our student advice section!