flores de Pascua = poinsettias
… don’t ask me why they call Christmas flowers “flowers of Easter” because I can’t seem to get a straight answer out of anyone!
Christmas is an interesting blend here in Spain. The days that matter the most are varied, and many have religious significance. However, you do see the infiltration of western Christmas. There are inflatable Santas in store windows, and Christmas trees in hotels and plazas. Of course the tourist areas are the ones that are the most obvious – lights and trees and Santas. So far, no one dressed up as Santa.
The street lights have gone up and some of them are pretty extensive. Corte Ingles (the large department store – think Macy’s) is lit up in huge blinking snowflakes. I was in Huelva overnight and they have gone all out – ditto Malaga a few weeks ago and even Granada. So what’s up, Sevilla? Apparently the most important day here is Dia de los Reyes (literally: Three Kings Day) – January 6. The three kings from the Biblical story take precedence here, and it is a huge party in the streets with a cabalgata (parade / procession) and floats and candy. When I arrived in Spain in 2004, our first day in Granada was January 6 .. at the time we pretended the parade was just for us 🙂
Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) seems semi-important. That’s when the families get together, go to mass, etc. Christmas Day has little to no meaning here – crazy! I have heard a rumor that some kids get presents on both Christmas AND Three Kings Day .. what a crock. Remember they also have a birthday AND a saint’s day. Anyway, post Christmas the big deal is New Years Eve, and then the party continues January 6. I for one will be dragging my visiting American friend out into the streets with an upside down umbrella to catch candy from the kings. If those kids get two Christmases, I do too!
Here are some street shots – mostly from Sevilla, one from Huelva. Feliz Navidad 🙂