Christmas in Spain: free teaching resource

Sorry, not a holiday but some ideas to investigate how Christmas is celebrated in Spain.

Christmas is a very important festival in Spain and many people go to church during the festive period. Decorations are put up on the 1st December. Nativity scenes, el belén, with figurines of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, mule, ox, angel, shepherds and three kings, are laid out on a table at home and life-size figures are also on display in public squares.

In Spain, the main meal takes place on Christmas Eve, la Nochebuena, and consists of a main dish of meat or seafood, such as cordero, lamb, bacalao, cod, or marisco, shellfish. Many families have a traditional meal, pavo trufado de Navidad which is roast turkey and truffles. After the meal families may gather round the tree and sing carols. This is the most important family gathering of the year. The meal may be interrupted, at midnight, by the ringing of the bells calling families to Mass.

In Spain, it is tradition to eat sweets at Christmas. El turrón, nougat, is essential. This almond based sweet traditionally comes in a block and there are two types, duro, hard, with whole almonds in a paste of sugar, honey and egg white, or blando, soft, where the ingredients are mixed together. Marzipan figures, las figuras de mazapán, are also popular.

Why not get your children involved in the following activities?

  • Pupils could write a simple account of the Christmas story and label a nativity scene in Spanish. Children could dress up as nativity characters and try a brief role-play of the story.
  • Draw and label a Christmas tree. Describe the colours in Spanish.
  • Children could draw and label some presents they would like to receive. They could also draw and label some presents they would like to give to family members.
  • Children could draw and label a traditional Spanish Christmas dinner.

Other ideas can be found in our Festival and Traditions books.

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Filed under French, German, Key Stage, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Spanish, Teaching Ideas

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