Regardless if you are dreading the family drama or turning your house into Santa’s cave, the countdown for Christmas has started. Let’s get in the mood with these Advent traditions in Spain.

Advent traditions in Spain you need to know to understand Christmas

Advent traditions in Spain: Decorate the house with Poinsettias (Flor de Pascua)

This red and green plant blossoms in December and is originally from South America. In the early times of the American colonies priests used them to decorate the altar during Christmas. It was known as  “Estrella de Navidad” (Christmas Star) due to the shape of its flowers.

Advent in Spain
Advent in Spain / Jessica Fadel /

Nowadays, you will find them in most Spanish households to decorate from advent all the way to Christmas.

It is also the plant the Vatican has chosen for years to decorate St. Peter’s Basilica for the Christmas services.

Advent in Spain means compulsively buy Christmas lottery tickets

On the 22nd of December, Spain celebrates a special Christmas lottery with prizes of up to 400.000 euros.

On the weeks heading to Christmas lottery fever will reach most Spanish households.

Advent traditions in Spain. Christmas lottery
Advent traditions in Spain /

You will end up purchasing one number shared with your family, another one with colleagues, one with friends, one from your local butcher, bar, restaurant… and so on. 

With every ticket costing 20€, playing the Christmas lottery is a tricky business that can get very expensive.

Pre-Christmas dinners and reunions

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, everyone’s generally empty schedules will suddenly be filled with a great number of pre-Christmas commitments.

With everyone going back to the place they grew up, the couple of weeks before Christmas will be suddenly full with reunions: dinners with friends from school, with friends from university, with friends from football, ex-colleagues, and so on.

Advent in Spain
Advent in Spain / / Kelsey Chance

People who have not seen each other in the last year will feel the urge to get together to celebrate the festive season and either brag about the year’s achievement or be left feeling miserable for the lack of them.

Other customs for abroad

It goes without saying that the Advent traditions we have explained are not religious but things that generally happen in Spanish households. 

In recent years there are some Advent traditions from the rest of the world that are becoming popular in Spain. For example, you will now find Advent calendars in most supermarkets.

Advent traditions in Spain
Advent traditions in Spain /

If you want to know more about Christmas in Spain have a look at these posts:

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