Spanish Fiestas

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					Spanish Fiestas
Megan Murphy Grade 9 Spanish I 04-02-09

Spanish Religions
In Spain (and other Spanish Speaking cultures, for that matter) the majority of people are Christian. To be specific, they are majorly Roman Catholic. They celebrate many of the same Holidays that we do here in America, including Christmas (Navidad) and Easter (Pascuas). However, as time has gone on and powers have changed in Spain, the cultural and religious aspects have changed, much like in any other country. Freedom of religion is a guarantee in Spain, and so any and all religious beliefs are accepted and may be present.
Spanish Religions *Christianity (Primarily Roman Catholic) *Islam *Judaism *Hinduism *Protestantism *Atheism (Being without a religion) *Agnosticism *Any many more

Navidad is the Spanish Christmas. Much like in America, the Spanish celebrate Navidad as the day that Jesus Christ was born, a factor that rarely changes from country to country. They way in which it was celebrated, however, may be a little different. In Spain, it isn’t unusual to celebrate with Hogueras, or bonfires, which is a tradition put into place long before Navidad. People jump over these fires as a symbolism of protection against illness. In Spain, they also don’t eat their dinner on this Holiday until after midnight, at which point they feast, often on Turkey. On Christmas Eve, at midnight, the peace and quiet is interrupted by the ringing of bells to signal La Misa Del Gallo, or The Mass of the Rooster. Some of the traditions that we would recognize, however, are common things such as decorating a Christmas Tree, and heavy shopping for gifts, decorations, and sweets.

Semana Santa
Taking place from Palm Sunday and lasting until Holy Saturday. The weeks leads up to Easter, a day traditionally Christian that is celebrated in many parts of the world. Holy Week is a very big deal to the people of Spain and other Spanish speaking countries. They have a lot of traditions and celebrations that go on during this week.

Las Fallas
Las Fallas may very well be one of the most unusual Spanish Holidays. In Spain, Las Falles is a day to celebrate and praise Saint Joseph. It traditionally takes place in Velencia. During this holiday, as symbolism of how all things must come to an end, they burn dolls made of paper mache, ceramic, card board, or other flammable materials. These dolls are called Ninots, and people often spend all of the year and a lot of money to put these together, only to burn them on March 19th. Then, at 12 in the morning, they are set ablaze and burned. Las Fallas can be atributed, in part, to Pagan Rituals, celebrating the onset of spring.

Celebrating Birthdays
Believe it or not, there really aren’t many differences between Spanish Birthdays (or cumpleanos) and American ones. There are, however, a few traditions in both cultures that aren’t shared in the other. One very common and highly recognized Spanish Birthday Tradition is that of the Pinata. A pinata is a small container, often in the shape of an animal, that is filled with candy. Kids will hit the pinata with a stick, attempting to break it open and release the candy.

A Quinceañera is a very important day in the life of a Spanish Chica. In Spain, when a girl turns 15 (which makes up the roots of the word: quince = fifteen; años = years) she is considered of age, and a woman. This means that this birthday is a big deal. As tradition, Spanish girls will wear a pink dress, very similar in style to those of American wedding dresses. They hold a very big party (which usually cost a lot of money) and they go through what, to us, may seem like very unusual rites of passage. This includes the tradition of changing from a pair of flat shoes to a pair of high heels, as a representation of moving from childhood, to womanhood.

Other Holidays
Of course there are many other Holidays in Spain and the other Spanish-Speaking countries. They include Ano Nuevo, San Jose, Dia del Trabajo, and Corpus Christi. All these holidays have their purposes and meanings. They celebrate many of the same holidays as us, and many different ones, as well. The ways in which they celebrate these holidays, though, may very well be the key difference, or even the only difference. Over all, though, you can tell that the Spanish culture is that of color and history, and an amazing thing to experience first hand, for yourself.

Mis Fuentes
Many of my sources were simply the search of the different holidays on Other sites I got information from are: allas.asp nalHolidays.htm s/Information/NationalHolidays.htm