Most people in Spain go to Midnight Mass or ‘La Misa Del Gallo’ (The Mass of the Rooster). It is called this because a rooster is supposed to have crowed the night that Jesus was born. Christmas Eve is known as Nochebuena.
In the days before Nochebuena, children might take part in ‘piden el aguinaldo’ where they go and sing carols around their neighbors hoping to get some money. say Christmas Eve in Spanish.
Most families eat their main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve before the service. The traditional Spanish Christmas dinner was ‘Pavo Trufado de Navidad’ which is Turkey stuffed with truffles (the mushrooms, not the chocolate ones!) or ‘Pularda Asada’ (a roasted young hen), although they are not commonly eaten now.
In Galicia (a region in north-west Spain, surrounded by water) the most popular meal for Christmas Eve and for Christmas Day is seafood. This can be all kinds of different seafood, from shellfish and mollusks to lobster and small edible crabs.
Popular desserts and sweets include ‘mazapán’ (made of almonds, sugar, and eggs), ‘turrón’ (made of honey and toasted almonds), and ‘polvorones’ (made of flour, butter, and sugar).
After the midnight service, one old tradition was for people to walk through the streets carrying torches, playing guitars and beating on tambourines and drums. One Spanish saying is ‘Esta Noche es Noche-Buena, Y no Es noche de dormir’ which means ‘Tonight is the good night and it is not meant for sleeping!’
A few different languages are spoken in different regions in Spain. In Spanish Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Feliz Navidad’; in Catalan, it’s ‘Bon Nadal’; in Galician ‘Bo Nadal’; and in Basque (or Euskara in basque) ‘Eguberri on’.
How to Say Christmas Eve in Spanish?
You can wish Merry Christmas in Spanish as It’s la Noche Buena.
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‘Christmas Eve’ in Other Languages:
British English: Christmas Eve /ˈkrɪsməs iːv/ noun
- American English: Christmas Eve
- Arabic: عَشِيَّة عِيد الـمِيلَاد
- Brazilian Portuguese: véspera de Natal
- Chinese: 平安夜
- Croatian: Badnjak
- Czech: Štědrý den
- Danish: juleaften
- Dutch: kerstavond
- European Spanish: Nochebuena
- Finnish: jouluaatto
- French: veille de Noël
- German: Heiligabend
- Greek: Παραμονή Χριστουγέννων
- Italian: vigilia di Natale
- Japanese: クリスマスイブ
- Korean: 크리스마스 이브
- Norwegian: julaften
- Polish: Wigilia Bożego Narodzenia
- European Portuguese: véspera de Natal
- Romanian: Ajunul Crăciunului
- Russian: Рождественский сочельник
- Spanish: Nochebuena
- Swedish: julafton
- Thai: คืนก่อนวันคริสต์มาส
- Turkish: Noel arifesi
- Ukrainian: святий вечір
- Vietnamese: Đêm Giáng Sinh