In Spain, the tradition of gift giving at Christmas is particularly special for children. They are the ones who await most eagerly the arrival of the Three Wise Men, who come in through the windows house by house, sharing out presents in just one night. They are not the only ones to have a good time, however. Grown-ups cannot help becoming infected by their happiness during the preparations for the big day: 6 January.
Sharing the exciting wait with them is a gift of love and emotion. This Christmas tradition fills the little ones’ days with unforgettable magic.
First of all, children have to write their letter to the Three Wise Men, saying which presents they would like them to bring. After this comes one of the favourite moments: giving the letter in. They can either give the letter to the Wise Men personally when they arrive “officially” on 5 January, or to the emissaries and royal postmen to be found in the centre of all Spanish towns a few days before. They will be asked if they have been good at school and at home, because naughty children get left coal instead of presents. Although, in truth, it is a “sweet” punishment because the coal is made of sugar.
When the long-awaited day finally arrives, the whole family come out onto the street to receive the Wise Men. They arrive with a traditional parade, riding through the streets on their camels, loaded with presents and accompanied by royal pages who throw sweets and goodies to the children. One by one, the delightful floats pass by, decorated with bright colours and inspired in popular children’s characters. The little ones will love them. All the while, a band brings joy to the celebration with Christmas songs and carols. The spectacle of joy, light and colour, combined with the smiles of the children, make for a feeling of complete happiness.
There are parades celebrated all over Spain on this day. Each has its own particular style, depending on where you are. In Barcelona, for example, the Three Wise Men arrive by sea, while in the village of Alarilla, in Guadalajara, they are daring enough to arrive by hang-glider and paraglider. Or why not see the parade in Alcoi, Alicante, the oldest in Spain?
Three Kings’ Night
After the parade, children go to bed early but excited, to wait for Melchoir, Caspar and Balthazar to come in through the window and leave presents in their shoes. First they should put water and bread on the windowsill for the camels to eat and drink while the Wise Men do their work.
Come and experience Christmas in Spain and discover this magical tradition that will fill your children with joy. Let them get carried away by all the moments of joy, surprise and tender happiness to be found in our country at this festive time.
Now is your chance. Make the most of it!!!
WHICH TOY MARKED YOUR CHILDHOOD?
I will always remember the so-called “comediscos”, a kind of portable record player for singles that I could take anywhere, bandoleer style. I´ve always loved music and dancing, so the possibility of listening to my own music with my friends and dance or rehearse different choreographies was the latest technology when I was 10, something from another world….
WHAT ABOUT YOU? HAVE YOUR SAY
WHAT EXACTLY WILL MAKE THE NEWS IN 2018?
WILL NUCLEAR-ARMED NORTH KOREA THREATEN THE WORLD WITH MORE MISSILE TESTS?
HOW WILL DONALD TRUMP RESPOND?
WILL PUTIN BE RE-ELECTED IN RUSSIA?
WILL THERESA MAY SURVIVE AS PRIME MINISTER AFTER BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS?
WILL CATALAN SEPARATIST PARTIES BE ABLE TO FORM A GOVERNMENT?
WILL PUIGDEMONT COME BACK FROM BRUSSELS A FREE MAN?
WILL THE CATALAN CRISIS STOP SPAIN´S ECONOMIC GROWTH?
WILL THE WORLD FIND A SOLUTION TO THE MIGRANT CRISIS?
WILL FAR-RIGHT PARTIES IN EUROPE KEEP ON BEING ON THE RISE?
WILL THE WORLD GET RID OF TERRORISM?…..
This is one of the most popular and entertaining Christmas traditions in Spain, the equivalent of April Fool’s Day. December 28th is the day when everyone is allowed to play practical jokes and when it is customary to buy joke articles in Christmas markets like the one in the Plaza Mayor square in Madrid.
This celebration appears to have its origins in an event narrated by the Bible concerning King Herod and the innocents, although over the centuries it has evolved to become a boisterous day in which even the media usually reports on some outrageous and completely invented news story. One of the most widespread jokes on this day is to stick a figure cut out of white paper on someone’s back (without them realising). The word in Spanish for this practical joke is an “inocentada”. And, in the numerous Christmas markets (usually located in the large squares in the cities) you can find a whole range of joke articles (wigs, itching powder, false ink…).Many areas in Spain also have other typical local celebrations on 28 December. Examples include the festivity of Los Locos (or “lunatics”) in Jalance (in Valencia, the mayor of the lunatics governs the town for 24 hours); the festivity of the Holy Innocents in Nogalte (in Murcia, with popular dancing and bands of singers); the Danza de Los Locos, or “dance of the lunatics” in Fuente Carreteros (in Cordoba); the “Obispillo”, or “little bishop” (celebrated in places such as Burgos, Palencia and Murcia, where a small boy is chosen to carry out the functions of the bishop for one day); and the “Festa dels Enfarinats” de Ibi (in Alicante, involving a “battle” fought with eggs, flour and firecrackers).
HAPPY DECEMBER FOOL´S DAY!
“Wonder” starring Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts tackles themes of bullying and inner beauty. So, this tearjerker might be a good watch this Christmas. “It´s important to stand up for yourself and stand up for others, especially for others because a lot of people assume that because they´re not part taking in the bullying, it´s not their responsibility…”
LAST YEAR WAS A HARD YEAR WITHOUT “A GOVERNMENT “IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC AND MIGRANT CRISIS: THE SYRIAN WAR AND THE PROBLEM OF THE REFUGEES, JIHADIST TERRORISM, COUNTLESS CORRUPTION CHARGES, THE HIGH DEBT, CUTS, EVICTIONS, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CHILD POVERTY, LOW CONSUMER CONSUMPTION, HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE “BRAIN DRAIN” OF EDUCATED SKILLED PROFESSIONALS…ETC…….
BUT THIS YEAR HAS ALSO BEEN VERY TOUGH, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF CATALONIA´S PUSH FOR INDEPENDENCE, WHICH FOCUSED ALL THE ATTENTION OF THE MEDIA AFTER A BANNED INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM LEADING TO SPAIN´S WORST POLITICAL CRISIS IN A GENERATION: A PRESIDENT IN EXILE, A LEADER BEHIND BARS….CATALAN VOTERS WILL GO TO THE POLLS TODAY TO DECIDE WHETHER TO RETURN THE SEPARATISTS TO POWER OR TO BRING IN A PRO-UNITY GOVERNMENT….
SO WE ALL NEED A BREAK FROM BAD NEWS, TO RECHARGE OUR BATTERIES AND ENJOY THE HOLIDAY SEASON….DON´T WE? WE DESERVE IT!!
SO, I WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
MY BEST WISHES FOR THE COMING YEAR…..
ALL THE HOMEWORK IS AVAILABLE (CLASSWORK 1B1 OR 1B2)
I PROMISE TO BE BACK ON 8th JANUARY!
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO CALIFORNIA?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO?
SO, THIS IS THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME…..
THIS IS THE CHART IN YOUR BOOK
CLICK ON THE WEBPAGE BELOW TO LISTEN AND PRACTISE:
UNVOICED = “SORDO”
VOICED = SONORO
YOU CAN ALSO TRY ADRIAN UNDERHILL´S INTERACTIVE PHONEMIC CHART:
CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABOVE AND YOU´LL BE ABLE TO HEAR THE SOUNDS.
NOWADAYS THERE ARE MANY APPS YOU CAN DOWNLOAD ON YOUR MOBILE / TABLET TO PRACTISE PRONUNCIATION:
THIS IS A GOOD SITE TO WORK ON PRONUNCIATION (BBC Learning English)
OR THE BRITISH COUNCIL
AND THE BRITISH COUNCIL APP
NOW YOU COULD PRACTICE WITH THIS LIST OF THE 100 MOST COMMONLY MISPRONOUNCED WORDS IN ENGLISH: 100 mispronounced words
CAN YOU THINK OF A WORD FOR EACH DIPHTHONG?
IF NOT, TRY THE INTERACTIVE CHART, BY CLICKING ON THE LINK.
IF YOU CAN´T WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE TYPE IN “IPA DIPHTHONGS” ON YOU TUBE,OK?
WATCH THIS MINI-MOVIE TO PRACTISE THE DIPHTHONGS:
FOR MORE DETAILED PRACTICE ON EACH DIPHTHONG YOU CAN WATCH THESE VIDEOS:
YOU CAN ALSO USE THIS MATERIAL: