Christmas is one of the most important festivities of the year and one of the most endearing for all those who experience it. It is a magical time that is celebrated during the last week of December. This time of joy is associated with the arrival of the Three Kings and the appearance of Santa Claus, but there are many traditions that vary from culture to culture. It is important to know them in order to fully enjoy this time.
There are countless Christmas traditions that have been carried on over the years, marking the beginning of the season of cold, lights and gifts. These traditions have managed to create a connection between people of all ages, cultures and countries and have managed to reflect the true spirit of Christmas.
The most well-known and emblematic figure of Christmas is undoubtedly Santa Claus, being one of the most important characters of Christmas. Its origin goes back to the European legends of Saint Nicholas, a bishop who was very generous with children and who gave gifts to those who needed them. This figure has become a symbol of kindness and generosity, and in many countries it is in charge of delivering gifts to children. Its history dates back to the end of the 17th century, when Dutch settlers came to America with an image of Sinterklaas. This figure, from which the modern image of Santa Claus derives, quickly became a popular character.
The best way to fully enjoy this tradition is to travel to a country where it is celebrated and we cannot think of a better destination than Ireland. But if you can't travel on these dates, don't worry, we'll give you another solution: go to some colonies in English where they celebrate this tradition. For example, if you have spent any British summer in Girona, you will know that the Santa Claus tradition is a very important festivity here.
It really is the same figure as Santa Claus, only its history goes back to the time of the Vikings, who worshiped the god Odin. This figure was adopted by the Christians, who transformed it into Saint Nicholas, a saint who was associated with generosity. This figure, associated with the figure of Santa Claus, has been adopted in many countries, being particularly famous in the United States, where Christmas is celebrated on December 25. As we have already mentioned, its origin goes back to the Norse legend of Odin, a god who traveled through the sky in a sleigh pulled by winged horses. This figure has become in charge of delivering gifts to children in many countries.
The three wise men
The Three Wise Men are also an important figure of Christmas. Their names are: Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar. This tradition dates back to biblical times, when the Magi went to Bethlehem to adore the newborn baby Jesus. This tradition has been maintained for centuries, being particularly famous in Spain, where it is celebrated on January 6. In other countries, such as the United States, this tradition is not usually celebrated, since they celebrate it on Christmas Day, being Santa Claus or Santa Claus who have left the gifts in their homes.
The figure of the Three Wise Men is very important in many countries, especially in Latin America, where the Three Wise Men are in charge of delivering gifts to children, as a symbol of the day on which they themselves brought the gifts to baby Jesus. by his birth.
The story of the Magi
One of the most famous Christmas traditions is the arrival of the Three Kings, a tradition that goes back thousands of years. The story of the Magi dates back to the 4th century when Persian wise men, called 'Magi', traveled from the East to Bethlehem to adore the newborn Jesus.
These wise men were very influential at the time and were known as the Magi. In tradition, the Magi brought three gifts to the baby Jesus: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold symbolized nobility, incense divinity and myrrh represented courage and triumph. These gifts were a mark of respect and a show of devotion.
Currently, this tradition has become very popular in Spain. On the night of January 5, children await the arrival of the Three Wise Men with the gifts they have requested. A Christmas decoration is usually prepared, which includes "the Bethlehem", a figure of newborn Jesus surrounded by the Magi, the shepherds and the animals that were with him in the manger: a cow and an ox.
Important days at Christmas
Christmas Eve is one of the most important nights of Christmas. In Spain, for example, it is a tradition on the night of December 24 to celebrate a family dinner and sing Christmas carols. This would be a good time to practice some Christmas carols in English, since Christmas carols in this language have become more and more popular lately. As one would say in French, it is the best way to “learn English in the family”.
New Year's Day is also celebrated with big parties in every country. This tradition dates back to ancient Rome, when it was customary to celebrate the turn of the year with a big party. In many countries, like Spain, the end of the year is celebrated with fireworks, music and food. Waiting anxiously for the 12 chimes, which are usually eaten together with the 12 grapes, one for each chime of the first minute of the year, at midnight. This is a tradition that is celebrated in all corners of Spain.
As you can see, Christmas is a time full of traditions that unite us through the years. These traditions allow us to keep the magic of Christmas alive year after year. So this year, let's take the opportunity to enjoy Christmas with all its traditions. Merry Christmas!