It’s that time of the year and I personally love Christmas! I love to put up the tree, to add the ornaments, to have a lot of lights in the windows. I love how beautiful the city gets decorated, and I love to have an excuse to celebrate with my family and friends.
Today we are going to learn how to talk in Spanish about the Holidays.
If you are a cristiano (Christian), you will celebrate “Navidad” (Christmas)
Tell your friends and family: “¡Feliz Navidad!” (Merry Christmas)
You will put up a Christmas tree: “Árbol de navidad” or “Arbolito” Like I prefer to call it. (It is the same thing, it just sounds cuter)
And you will add ornaments and lights: “Adornos y luces”
This is a picture of our arbolito this year.
Yo puse adornos blancos y dorados (I put white and golden ornaments) una estrella en la punta (a star on top) y muchas luces (and lots of lights).
Some families also have a pesebre (manger) in their homes, with the images of José, la Virgen María y el niño Jesús (Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus)
We tell the kids that Papá Noel (Santa Claus) has brought los regalos. Although some families say it is el niño Jesus the one who brings the presents.
La familia (the family) eats together and signs villancicos (Christmas Carols).
Some people like to go to la misa del gallo (Midnight Mass)
And then, in my family (and many familias latinas) we put on some music and party all night long!
One week later we celebrate Año Nuevo (New Year). A la medianoche (at midnight) we eat 12 uvas (12 grapes) and make 12 deseos (12 wishes)
It is common to send tarjetas de navidad (Christmas cards)wishing “Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo”(Merry Christmas and Happy New Year)
In Colombia we also celebrate la noche de las velitas (night of candles) on Dec 7th where we put candles in our windows and sidewalks. And on Dec 16th we start la novena de aguinaldos (Advent prayers). It is a prayer telling the story of the days before the birth of Jesus. During la novena, la familia gets together and eat traditional food like buñuelos and natilla. It is a lovely celebration. Now you see why I love this time of the year?
If you want to read more about la novena, check this article.
Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert in Jewish celebrations. This is what I learned for living only 1 year with a family half Jewish in Boston, so I apologize in advance if some of this is not accurate.
If you are a judío (Jew), you will be celebrating Janucá (Hanukkah)
And for 8 nights you will be lighting Las luminarias de Janucá (hannuka candles) en un candelabro(menoráh) al atardecer (at sunset) you will light an extra light that would be called ‘servidor’ o ‘cuidador’(shamash).
Las familias juegan driedel (dreidel) y los niños comen dulces (and the kids eat candies).
If you want to help me expanding this article about the Jewish celebration, feel free to leave your comments below.
If you want to keep it neutral, religious wise, just say: ¡Felices fiestas y Feliz Año Nuevo! (Happy Holidays and Happy New Year)
Questions? Leave a comment below!
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