Christmas Traditions Around the World

Christmas Traditions in Spain

The Christmas season begins in Spain on December 8, with a weeklong observance of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Spanish families may travel to Seville, in the southwest, where the warm weather encourages flowers to bloom in December. In Seville’s great cathedral, they watch ten costumed boys perform an ancient dance called Los Seises to honor the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of Spain. In northern Spain, families decorate their balconies with colorful carpets, flags, and flowers. They burn candles all night in the windows.

Evergreens decorate the churches and outdoor markets throughout the Christmas season. Tambourines, gourd rattles, castanets, and miniature guitars are offered for sale to enliven the singing and dancing in the streets. Children go from house to house reciting verses or singing carols for sweets, toys, or small instruments.

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