Christmas in Spain: Christmas Eve and Day
Spaniards spend Christmas Eve at home with their families. As the sky darkens some families place a lighted lamp in the window. Many also place lighted candles around the Nativity scene or around the family’s shrine to the Virgin Mary. As is typical in Spain, dinner is not served until nine or ten o’clock. Afterwards, many people attend Midnight Mass.
Family celebrations continue on Christmas Day. The baby Jesus figurine is finally placed in the Nativity scene crib. Some families have adopted the practice of exchanging gifts on Christmas Day. Traditionally, however, only children received Christmas gifts, brought to them by the Three Kings on January 6, Epiphany. Singing Christmas carols is another favorite Christmas Day activity. Ordinarily, the main meal of the day is a late lunch served around two in the afternoon. Accordingly, Spaniards serve a large Christmas dinner in the middle of the afternoon on Christmas Day.