La Navidad en España comparte tradiciones con el resto de los países donde se practica la religión católica.
Como en otras partes del mundo, las familias se reúnen. Los adornos y elementos empleados para participar
en estas fiestas son parecidos en Europa y América, la comida, la bebida, la música, el baile y la costumbre de regalar. Pero también la Navidad española es una celebración única, con tradiciones y costumbres distintas que reflejan el verdadero carácter de España.
· 24 DE DICIEMBRE, NOCHEBUENA
Es el día en el que se celebra (según la religión católica) la víspera del nacimiento de Jesús. Durante la Nochebuena se cena con la familia y después de cenar se comen dulces típicos navideños (turrón, mazapán, polvorón..) y se cantan villancicos. Los platos típicos de esta cena especial son marisco, pescado
(besugo, dorada, lubina, merluza), cochinillo, cordero, pavo, jamón... aunque varían de unas regiones a otras. De beber se toma vino, sidra y cava (vino espumoso español elaborado por el método champanoise, parecido al champán francés). Es una ocasión para que familiares que no viven cerca se reúnan. En esa noche se celebra la tradicional “misa del gallo”, a las 12 de la noche. Era habitual que los miembros de la familia asistieran juntos a esa misa de medianoche. Según la tradición, este animal fue el primero en presenciar el nacimiento de Jesús y anunciarlo al mundo. Las familias más religiosas suelen asistir a esta misa.
· 25 DE DICIEMBRE, NAVIDAD
En este día se conmemora el Nacimiento de Jesucristo en Belén. El día de NAVIDAD se celebra con una comida similar a la cena de Nochebuena, y suele tener lugar o en la misma casa donde se celebró la Nochebuena, o en casa de otro familiar. A la comida le sigue una larga sobremesa. En Cataluña, al contrario que en otras comunidades, esta comida es más importante que la cena de Nochebuena. En este día se reciben los regalos de Papa Noel (Cataluña).
· 28 DICIEMBRE, EL DÍA DE LOS SANTOS INOCENTES
Esta fiesta tiene sus raíces en un evento muy sangriento, la matanza de niños que cometió el rey Herodes en Judea, aunque hoy en día la costumbre es gastar alguna broma a los amigos o familiares. En este día los periódicos suelen publicar noticias absurdas o increíbles y también la televisión hace lo mismo.
· 31 DICIEMBRE, NOCHEVIEJA
El último día del año se celebra la Nochevieja. Después de cenar el 31 de diciembre, según la tradición, a las 12 en punto de la noche, se toman las 12 uvas de la suerte en la Puerta del Sol de Madrid o viéndolo por la televisión. Las uvas se toman, una por una, al son de cada una de las 12 campanadas, que marcan el final del año. Después la gente se felicita el Año Nuevo besándose y brindando con cava (a veces sidra).
Según la tradición, los que comen las uvas tendrán 12 meses de prosperidad durante el año entrante (que viene). Todo el país minutos antes de medianoche, conecta su televisor para oír las campanadas de Nochevieja desde la PUERTA DEL SOL en Madrid
In English speaking countries, children don’t get their presents on
Christmas Eve (24 December). Santa comes at night when everyone is
asleep. Santa’s reindeer can fly and take him from house to house. They
land on the roofs of the houses and then Santa climbs down the chimney
to leave the presents under the Christmas tree.
In the morning of Christmas Day (25 December), children usually get
up very early to unwrap their presents. Then they have plenty of time to
play with their new toys.
Christmas dinner is served in the early afternoon. Most people eat turkey and sprouts and a Christmas pudding.
26 December is called Boxing Day. It hasn’t always been a holiday.
People used to go back to work on that day where their bosses gave them
little Christmas presents in small boxes. That’s why the day is called
Ireland, like most countries, has a number of Christmas traditions
that are all of its own. Many of these customs have their root in the
time when the Gaelic culture and religion of the country were being
supressed and it is perhaps because of that they have survived into
The Candle in the Window
placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas eve
is still practised today. It has a number of purposes but primarily it
was a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph as they travelled looking for
The candle also indicated a safe place for priests to perform mass as, during Penal Times this was not allowed.
The Laden Table
After evening meal on Christmas eve the kitchen table was again set
and on it were placed a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and
raisins, a pitcher of milk and a large lit candle. The door to the house
was left unlatched so that Mary and Joseph, or any wandering traveller,
could avail of the welcome.
The Wren Boy Procession
During Penal Times there was once a plot in a village against the
local soldiers. They were surrounded and were about to be ambushed when a
group of wrens pecked on their drums and awakened the soldiers. The
plot failed and the wren became known as “The Devil’s bird”.
On St. Stephens Day a procession takes place where a pole
with a holly bush is carried from house to house and families dress up
in old clothes and with blackened faces. In olden times an actual wren
would be killed and placed on top of the pole.
This custom has to a large degree disappeared but the tradition of
visiting from house to house on St. Stephens Day has survived and is
very much part of Christmas.
The placing of a ring of Holly on doors originated in Ireland as
Holly was one of the main plants that flourished at Christmas time and
which gave the poor ample means with which to decorate their dwellings.
All decorations are traditionally taken down on Little Christmas
(January 6th.) and it is considered to be bad luck to take them down
Apart from his choice of footwear, the Puss of Puss in Boots 3D seems to have no connection with his precursor of fairytale. Yet though the two felines' deeds may differ, their stories share one feature: both narratives seek to endow humanity's favourite pet with mythic status. This is a mission of long standing.
Puss In Boots 3D
Production year: 2011
Cert (UK): U
Runtime: 90 mins
Directors: Chris Miller
Cast: Amy Sedaris, Antonio Banderas, Billy Bob Thornton, Salma Hayek, Walt Dohrn, Zach Galifianakis
The ancient Egyptians held cats to be sacred.Bast, a goddess with the head of a cat, was entrusted with the protection of lower Egypt and provided with one of the country's most splendid temples. Several ancient religions exalted cats as all-knowing guides for humans. The Norse god Freyja even chose them to draw her chariot. In Malaysia, people believed cats would guide their souls to paradise.
The fairytale that first brought us Puss in Boots also presented its hero as a benefactor of mankind. In the definitive version, written by retired civil servant Charles Perrault in 1695, Puss secures wealth, power and the hand of a princess for his low-born master. His DreamWorks counterpart saves a whole city from being devastated by a monstrous goose.
Unfortunately, the beast currently ripping your sofa to shreds is unlikely to harbour comparable ambitions. If the dog is a man's best friend – stout-hearted, obedient and faithful, then the cat is something else.
If he's leaving your soft furnishings alone just now, maybe it's because he's depositing something unwelcome on your pillow, or spraying in some corner that you'll never be able to reach. Alternatively, she may be out demolishing your neighbour's garden or exterminating the local wildlife. Asurvey by the Mammal Society found the nation's cats accounting for around 57m mammals, 27m birds and 5m reptiles and amphibians over a mere five-month period. And unlike other predators, cats enjoy torturing their victims before they finally dispatch them.
You can't blame them for their halitosis, caterwauling or propensity to vomit on the carpet. Doubtless they don't mean to transmit toxoplasmosisto pregnant women. Yet they do often give the impression that they're going out of their way to mistreat their human hosts.
Nonetheless, people have been inviting cats into their lives for more than 9,000 years. In Britain today, over 10m of the things infest about five million homes. Unlike other domesticated animals, they didn't inveigle themselves into our households by being useful. Why then do so many people put up with them?
Of British cat owners asked their reasons in 2008, 58% cited "companionship" or "love". Presumably they must have meant their love for their pet, rather than its for them, given the typical feline disposition. Cats do indeed seem able to inspire almost limitless devotion, however unrequited this may be. Owners have been known to put out seven different bowls of food each day to give Kitty a bit of choice, to get up at 3am to cook fish because that's when Kitty wants it, or to leave the heating on all night in case Kitty gets cold even though this makes them too hot to sleep themselves.
Still, in spite of having to do so much in return for so little, these infatuates convince themselves that the relationship is working. A Swiss study in 2003 found that cats are as good as human partners at cheering up the morose. As Kipling noted, the cat walks by himself; yet he holds humanity in his thrall. How does he do it?
The answer may be presumed to lie in the bottomless cunning of felis catus. No other creature is so manipulative. A cat can cajole his owner into picking up a fallen toy simply by staring at it and tossing glances in her direction. Yet clever though he is, he isn't easy to train: you see, there's nothing in it for him.
A University of Sussex study found that to impose their will on their owners, cats deploy a particular kind of purr. It's different from the regular version, and incorporates a note with the same frequency as a baby's cry. The resulting sound is very hard for human beings to ignore.
Perrault's fairytale acknowledged its hero's guile, even as it sought to applaud him. Though Puss advances his master's interests, he does this through trickery and deceit. In the end, his apparent altruism turns out to be a ruse to secure a life of leisure for himself.
DreamWorks, on the other hand, gives us the cat of our delusions. The 3D Puss is surrounded by cheats prone to greed and betrayal. He, however, luxuriates in courage, loyalty, honesty and compassion. Only one of his characteristics chimes with those of our sharp-clawed household delinquent. It's his prodigious love of himself.
A street in an English town. A policeman stops a car. The driver is a foreigner...
Policeman : (Holding up his hand) Stop ! Driver : What's the matter ? Policeman : Why are you driving on the right side of the road ? Driver : Do you want me to drive on the wrong side ? Policeman : You are driving on the wrong side ! Driver : But you said I was driving on the right side & Policeman : That's right. But you're on the right, and that's wrong ! Driver : What a strange country ! If right is wrong, I'm right when I'm on the wrong side of the road. So why did you stop me ? Policeman : My dear Sir, you must keep to the left. The right side is the left ! Driver : It's like a looking glass ! I'll try to remember. Well, I want to go to Bellwood. Will you kindly tell me the way ? Policeman : Certainly ! At the end of this road, turn left. Driver : Now let me think & Turn left ! In England, left is right and right is wrong. Am I right ? Policeman :You'll be right if you turn left. But if you turn right, you'll be wrong & Driver : Thank you very much ! It's as clear as daylight !