Christmas time is here again, and Santa on his way! Ho, ho, ho… As you may have noticed, our web is already into the spirit of Christmas, and so must get our blog content. We have recently talked about Christmas Markets in Barcelona and 5 essential plans to enjoy these days in the city. And we know you are willing to get more tips, so here we go!
Today, in our blog, you will discover some Christmas traditions that every local follows year after year. So, if you want to have a Merry Christmas and get off to a good start of 2017, take good note!!
1. CHRISTMAS COMMERCIALS:
One of the most entertaining things at Christmas is how creativity flows every year in advertising. In Barcelona, in particular, we all expect two commercials that mean we are leading up to Xmas: :
Since 1977, we have watched Freixenet’s commercial year after year. The popular cava brand promotes its spirits’ bubbles in collaboration with great celebrities every year. Some of this spots are already part of our heritage..
The National Lottery Spot:
It is with no doubts the most expected one! Year after year, this commercial is responsible for moving most of the Spaniards to tears. The current crisis situation, having the family around and, in general terms, the cultural environment we live in, easily give cause for becoming emotional about the opportunity of a better life. This year, under the slogan of “The best prize is sharing it”, we’ve been able to watch this beautiful spot::
2. DON’T FORGET THE GOOD LUCK BOUQUET (MISTLETOE):
Lucky Xmas. Bouquet – Photo from Flors mas Lluhi
Does it look familiar? Some countries share this tradition with us and take it to quite a ritual: kissing your beloved under the mistletoe on Christmas Day (an Anglo-Saxon tradition). Kissing under the mistletoe is not that traditional in Barcelona – as far as we know-; on the other hand, it is typical to find the treasured bouquet everywhere during the Christmas Season: markets, kiosks, street vendors, etc.
This is, however, not a mere tradition: it has its rules! The bouquet must be at every home before 24th December in the evening; and that’s not all! It must be a present… so you better hurry up and buy your bouquet to give it away to your beloved ones!
3. THE LOTTERY DAY:
As you may imagine, that’s an amazing day. We all have dreams and many of those, land on the lottery tickets we get for the lottery raffle on 22nd December every year.
The Special Christmas Lottery Raffle (Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad), as it is officially known, is one of the most popular ones that take place in Spain every 22nd December. The raffle is held in the raffle theater of the Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (National Lottery Organization), in Madrid. What’s the reason for such an excitement? None other that the chance of getting El Gordo, the biggest prize, that holds a value of 400.000 euro per tenth-share ticket since 2011.
That day, it is traditional to work with the radio on to listen to the children from San Ildefonso school “singing loud” the winning numbers, while we daydream of a paradise beach. What if you win? No matter how much we may win, we celebrate with cava; and if we don’t, we celebrate that we are healthy and toast anyway.
4. HOLY INNOCENTS’ DAY (equivalent to April Fools’):
Between all bank holidays there are a few “lazy” days where rarely anybody works, making a longer holiday, having a rest, buying the latest gifts… And 28th December is one of those days, the Holy Innocents Day.
This is one of the best fun days during Christmas. Although the event commemorated according to Christian belief is not fun at all, … the popular tradition has turned it into a day to play “innocent jokes”, similar to what happens on April Fool’s Day in Anglo-Saxon countries..
What can you find that day? Fake news on the main newspapers and social media, paper doll cutouts on your door or on your back… and many other live jokes, where, if you are caught in the joke, you’ll be called INNOCENT!!
5.TRADITIONS FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE:
Cava – Photo WeLoversize
The last evening of the year is with no doubts full of traditions worth their own section in this post. Some of them are pagan, some others are religious and there are also some that have a very mystic nature. No matter what their origin may be, you must know them if you are around in Barcelona; and if you feel in the mood, don’t hesitate to follow them!
- Red underwear: red represents good luck and it is also the color of passion and love; so if we want the new year to be full of such things, we shouldn’t forget to wear some of our lingerie in red.
- Toast with a golden ring: to keep love in our lives or make it happen, we must put a golden ring in our glass.
- New Year Propositions or Wish list: like every year, it is time to aim for better habits.
- The twelve good luck grapes: there are may theories about this tradition, which is deeply settled in Spain; we support the one that believes that we eat one grape for each month, willing to be healthy, wealthy and have enough to eat during the coming year (it used to be a tradition only followed by the middle-class).
After we have done all this, we toast again, this time with the cotillion elements in place and hoping the New Year to be better than the one that just finished.
5. THE THREE KINGS’ CAKE:
Three Kings’ Cake recipe – Recetas de cocina, paso a paso, tutorial – YouTube
This dessert is, as its name says, the ultimate sweet on the Epiphany Day. Such a classic! Someone from the family brings the cake and eats it as a dessert with everyone else; but…watch out! There’s a figure and a bean hidden in it. If you find the figure, you’ll be the king of the party and the New Year will bring you lots of opportunities. On the other hand, if you find the bean, you’ll have to pay for the cake! However, keep it with you, as it may also bring good luck.
Did you know all these traditions? Did we miss any? Share them with us! Our blog is into the spirit of Christmas these days, and from Hostemplo we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We would like to make you feel like home in our apartments and rooms, so remember, if you book through our web, you will get FREE breakfast on your first night. We’re waiting for you!