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The essential Spanish expressions you'll need at Christmas and New Year

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The essential Spanish expressions you'll need at Christmas and New Year
People enjoy the Christmas lights in Malaga. Photo: AFP
10:35 CET+01:00
Every country has special expressions and phrases during Christmas that are connected to their traditions, and Spain is no exception.

If this is going to be your first Christmas in Spain, then these are what you must know to get through the festive period like a local.

READ ALSO:  12 weird and wonderful Christmas traditions celebrated across Spain

"Te tocó el gordo"

This means that you have won the fat one and that you've won the most important  refers to the biggest prize of the Christmas lottery.

In Spain, the opening Christmas season is marked by results announcement of the traditional Christmas lottery that is drawn on the 22th of December when the results sang by children, starts to arise in every corner of the street.

"Felices fiestas" and "Feliz Navidad"

Happy holidays and happy Christmas.

Merry Christmas and New Year wishes are typical during the Christmas family dinner that's celebrated on Christmas Eve each year: "Cena de Nochebuena" (Christmas Eve dinner) when is eaten the traditional pavo (turkey); on "Día de Navidad" (Christmas Day), when the gifts are opened.


Photo: Chris Oakley/Flickr 

"Feliz Año Nuevo"

Happy New Year

Once the Christmas festivities are over, the 31st of December is the perfect way to immerse yourself in a huge celebrations worldwide.  In Spain, there are unique customs on "Nochevieja" (New Year's Eve) when 12 uvas(grapes) are eaten as each of the chimes (campanadas) that ring in the New Year.

  • Gracias, ¡pero es que ya no puedo comer más!

       Thanks, but I can't eat more!

Usually, by the time Christmas Day arrives, people have spent the last 25 days eating and drinking. In a country as generous as Spain, it's important to know how to say that you really can't eat any more!


Three Kings parade in Madrid in 2015. Photo: AFP

¿Qué te han traído los Reyes Magos?

What did the Three Wise Men bring you?

In Spain, it's not Santa Claus that brings presents, but the Three Wise Men. Spain sticks close to the bible when it comes to the Christmas story and children are more excited about Los Reyes than anything else. There are huge parades where children are given sweets by the Kings and the Epiphany is a public holiday every year!

Check out our other word of the day posts

This has been contributed by LAE Madrid, the leading Spanish academy in Madrid. Accredited by the Insitituto Cervantes, it offers Spanish courses for all levels and also has Spanish classes for kids and families.

READ MORE: Ten magical ways to give your kids the best Spanish Christmas ever

 

 

 
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