While most children in the world are eagerly expecting Santa Claus for Christmas and the Easter bunny for Easter, children in Spain generally have different expectations during the year. With rich cultural and traditional holidays, Spain stands out with its unique customs, which are unlike any other in the world.
In the last years, Santa Claus has started to gain popularity among children in Spain, but the Three Kings, or Magi, are the ones Spanish kids are really waiting for. Similar to the general custom of writing a letter to Santa, kids in Spain are also writing letters, but for the Kings. Also, instead of leaving cookies and milk for Santa, they sometimes leave drinks for the Magi and food for their camels. The day before the Epiphany, there is a big parade that takes place all over Spain, where the Three Kings march along the streets, giving candy to children and then on January the 6th, the kids wake up to find presents from the Magi on the day known as Día de los Reyes Magos.
The next big celebration of the year is the Holy Week, or Semana Santa, when Spanish people celebrate the Passion of Jesus Christ, which is a full week of celebration right before the actual day of Easter. For this occasion, some brotherhoods are doing certain processions on the streets, while wearing specific cloaks and hoods. For whoever is not familiar with this tradition in Spain, the hoods might be somewhat shocking at first sight, as they are reminiscent of the ones worn by the Ku Klux Klan; however, they are in no way the same thing and have no relation one to another. Also, the Easter Bunny does not exist here and though the chocolate eggs are gaining a little bit of popularity, nobody really cares for these kinds of customs, as they have their own. The specific sweets for the Spanish Easter are torrijas and pestiños.
Then, the Dia de todos los Santos is celebrated on 1st of November, when people gather together with their families and visit their dead relatives at the cemeteries. It’s the day of the year when the most flowers are being sold, as everyone is buying them to bring to their lost loved ones, the most common one being the chrysanthemum. Like on most other holidays in Spain, this one also comes with its specific sweets, which in this case are buñuelos de viento, huesos de santo and panellets.
However, they are the more important ones. If one is interested in a completely unique way of celebrating Catholic holidays, Spain is definitely one of the countries to take into consideration, as their processions and traditions are nothing like those in the rest of Europe.
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Ayuntamiento de Alaquàs