Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ready for Christmas?

In Spain, Christmas starts with the biggest draw of Spanish National lottery on December 22nd.. Everybody try their luck with the lottery tickets because the first prize is three million euros, so if you hold a tenth, you win 300,000 euros.

The Christmas decorations were hung in the main streets on December 8th and this year, to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide in the fight against climate change and the Global warming, energy-saving bulbs have been used. There are huge Christmas trees everywhere and you can visit Nativities in the churches of Málaga.

Now is the season for sending Christmas cards, singing Christmas carols, meeting friends and family and going shopping to get everything ready on time.

Families gather round the table on Christmas Eve and eat delicacies like giant prawns, turkey, lamb, suckling pig, salmon, red bream, and all kind of seafood. The desert is always made up of hard and soft nougat, chocolate and mantecados.

In Spain, the King speaks to the nation on tv, whereas in England, people listen to the Queen’s speech after lunch on the 25th. Then, the children hang up a sock for Father Christmas in the Christmas tree and some families go to midnight mass after dinner.

Another big public holiday is New Year's Eve. Everyone gets dressed up to the nines and go to parties to eat the Lucky grapes. You eat one grape for each stroke of the clock and toast the new year with cider or cava.

The final Xmas celebration is the Kings’ Day Eve. Children have already given their letters to the royal postman, or to the royal page, and go to the parade of the three kings to pick the sweets that a page throws from the carriage. That night all the children eat a piece of King's Day cake, it is a cake with glace fruit that represents rubies and emeralds, before going to bed wondering “what are the three wise men going to bring me? I hope it's not a lump of coal”. And they get up early thinking “I’ve been very good this year, so there will be many gifts”

Finally there comes the January slope. People struggle to get to the end of the month and, though being broken, go shopping to take advantage of the sales.

I hope you have learnt all the vocabulary you need to talk about Christmas in English, you can use an on line dictionary to translate the green words.

May the new year bring you peace and prosperity

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