A Comparison of Christmas in America and Spain Essay

A Comparison of Christmas in America and Spain Essay

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Ah Christmas, it is said to be the most wonderful time of the year. In the United States Christmas is a time of giving and receiving, spending time with your family, and in most Christian families, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is hands-down the most highly commercialized holiday celebrated by Americans. In fact, according to CBS news, the average American will spend $700 on gifts this holiday season, totaling for a whopping $465 billion spent nation-wide. From mall Santas as far as the eye can see, to hearing Christmas music in every retail store you enter. Christmas is a time of high spirits and high spending in the U.S.
What about other countries though? Is the Christmas season all about giving and receiving gifts? Are children in Spain rewarded by Santa with gifts and toys on Christmas Eve? In this essay we will look at what Christmas season means in Spain, and what traditions are prevalent in their culture. We will also look at the Christmas related traditions of Americans, and how those compare and contrast to those in Spain.
First of all, the Christmas season in Spain runs longer than the American Christmas season. While Christmas season in America has no real set beginning, the celebrations end on December 30th. The Spanish Christmas season officially starts on December 8th, with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception; and ends on January 6th, or El Dia de los Reyes Magos (3 Kings Day). In between this time period there are four other celebrations, including the Day of the Innocent Saints occurring on December 28th, “Nochebuena” (The Good Night) being celebrated on Christmas Eve, Navidad (Christmas) being celebrated on Christmas Day, and Nochevieja (The Old Night) being celebrated on New Years...


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...g the children gifts. Instead Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar do! The children often leave their shoes filled with barley and wheat on balconies, porches, or under the Christmas tree, for the 3 kings to leave presents in during the night. In the morning the barley and wheat is replaced with toys, candy, and other gifts!
In conclusion, the Christmas season in Spain is a more holy and traditional event than in the United States. If you were in Spain during this season you would be likely to see large feasts among family and friends, people worshipping in the streets, and children swinging and singing Christmas songs. Gifts are given at this time, but the Spanish people view it more as a time of worship and family togetherness. Although they generally spend less money on the Christmas season in Spain, it is as just as an important of a holiday as it is in America.



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