Enjoy a Christmas to Remember at DSV Collection in Marbella
The Spanish enjoy some quirky and unique Christmas traditions. Why not immerse yourself in a different culture this December with a Christmas break at Villa El Cano in Marbella. From December 22nd-29th up to 20 of your friends and family can experience some of the incredible Spanish traditions in the local area, whilst still embracing your British roots and enjoying an delicious Christmas meal cooked by your own private chef on the 25th.
Nochebuena or Christmas Eve is the most cherished of all family gatherings in Spain. Most families eat their main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve, before going to Midnight Mass or ‘La Misa Del Gallo’ (The Mass of the Rooster). It is called this because a rooster is supposed to have crowed the night Jesus was born.
The traditional Spanish Christmas dinner was 'Pavo Trufado de Navidad' which is Turkey stuffed with truffles (the mushrooms, not the chocolate ones!) or 'Pularda asada' (a roasted young hen), although they are not commonly eaten now. Check out the incredible sample menus that you could be enjoying for this year’s festivities (insert hyperlink)
After the midnight service, one old tradition was for people to walk through the streets carrying torches, playing guitars and beating on tambourines and drums. One Spanish saying is 'Esta noche es Noche-Buena, Y no Es noche de dormir' which means 'Tonight is the good night and it is not meant for sleeping!'
Traditionally Spanish children don’t get their presents on Christmas Day but you may have a few issues trying to get your little ones to embrace this part of the culture. Children have a few presents on Christmas Day, but most are opened at Epiphany on January 6th.
On December 28th, you’ll have to have your wits about you as 'Día de los santos inocentes' or 'Day of the Innocent Saints' is very much like our April Fools Day. Friends and families go to great lengths to play tricks on each other.
New Year's Eve is called 'Nochevieja' or 'The Old Night' in Spain and one special tradition is that you eat 12 grapes with the 12 strokes of the clock at Midnight,making a wish for good fortune in the months ahead. Some say that this tradition started in 1882 when a group from Madrid headed to the famous central plaza of Puerta del Sol and ate grapes as the clock struck midnight to mock the upper classes who drank champagne and ate grapes all night long. Others say it was a clever marketing gimmick when in 1909, grape farmers had an overly abundant harvest and needed a way to quickly sell their grapes. By saying that eating grapes brought about good luck, it quickly became a household institution.
Children believe that the Three Kings bring presents and not Santa Claus. The children send letters to the Three Kings of Orient – Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar – who travel bearing gifts for children who have been good throughout the year, and coal for those who have been a bit naughty. On the evening of January 5th, the Kings arrive in Spain and visit every city and village, where they’re welcomed with a fun-filled parade.
On the morning of January 6th, families eat the Roscón de Reyes, a delicious, brioche-like cake with candied fruit on top. Hidden within the cake is a small toy king and a bean. Whoever gets the slice of the cake with the small king will have good luck for the rest of the year and whoever gets the bean must pay for the Roscón!
As well as these unique traditions, the Spanish really know how to bring Christmas to life in their towns and cities. With stunning light displays, nativity scenes and festive themed concerts in the streets and plazas, you’ll have a truly magical experience.
Emailinfo@dsvcollection.comfor details of our Christmas break at Villa El Cano