Winter Holidays – Here and There
A few days ago a friend who is a journalist sent me an urgent Whatsapp message saying that she needs my story for an article about how foreigners spend Christmas and winter holidays in Spain. I responded rather tersely: “Well, for Christmas, I leave Spain”. Apparently she liked my answer, and we carried on with the interview to do another ten questions, but this time with slightly longer answers.
As a result—hurray!—I showed up in the most prestigious newspaper of Valencia (“Las Provincias) yesterday. And guess what? They wrote my first and last name correctly! But my joy didn’t last too long, because shortly after I spotted a mistake in the bottom picture, where they wrote Andrea with one “e” as usual.
Winter Traditions: Spain vs. Romania
At first, I was surprised to discover that Santa Claus is less popular here in Spain. That’s because it’s not him but The Three Magi who present the gifts to the children. So the shopping madness does not end in December like in other countries but only just started.
Compared to Romania, there are no carollers in Spain. Carols are an important part of winter holidays in Romania. On December 24th children are wandering from door to door singing carols in exchange for money, sweets or gifts. There are even professional choirs that do visits to companies, institutions, and stores.
On the last day of the year—before the New Year’s evening—groups of people—including children as well as grown-ups—are performing small pieces of theatre, wearing masks and going from house to house to share their story. There are some noisy days, and combined with a smell of burnt wood and recently prepared food, it creates a nice Christmas winter spirit.
Christmas on the beach
The only time when I spent Christmas and NYE in continental Spain (last year I’ve been to Tenerife), was in December 2012. How was it? Well, a lot of meals with friends from all over the world, lots of gifts (some of them packed and sent to my family in Romania) and on December 25th, we went to the beach. As the weather was so good we couldn’t resist. We went there with a few winter accessories, took a lot of photos and had a fantastic time. Later that day we posted these pictures on Facebook to make our Romanian friends jealous. They were telling us that the temperature was the same in Romania, except in the opposite direction: minus 16 degrees.
This year, I am going to spend Christmas in Germany again. After that, I’ll be in Berlin for a week to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I’m so excited to go there as I’ve wanted to go there forever.
I hope you like these photos from my Spanish Christmas and thanks for reading this article!
How about you: Where are you going to spend Christmas? Which is the most beautiful Winter Tradition for you?