Monday, December 24, 2012
Day 33- La Noche Buena
The Good Night as the Spanish call it or Christmas Eve to us. The main Christmas meal in Spain in on December 24. The meal on the eve of the 24th is the most important meal in the Spanish calendar and is always held in the evening, many people won't even start until after midnight (after midnight mass) as the old saying goes, " Esta noche es Noche Buena, y no es de dormir" this night is the Good Night, and is not meant for sleeping" You can expect to see people out in bars drinking with family and friends before and sometimes after the big dinner. Another must do for a true Spanish Christmas is midnight mass which people go to either before or after the meal, depending on the time they eat. Christmas midnight mass in Spain is known as"La Misa del Gallo" or "Rooster Mass" because the rooster was the first to announce the birth of Christ. Once the meal and mass is over, people return home to exchange gifts. Children will often only receive a small gift as 'Papa Noel' is less popular than the Three Kings who arrive on 5th January with presents for all the children. The evening, or morning, usually ends in a bar or disco where whole families gather to party and celebrate once the family festivities are over. This year my plan was to cook a semi-traditional Spanish "La Noche Buena" dinner, but without an oven and minimal cooking tools my choices were limited. Not to mention I waited until fairly late yesterday and by the time I made it to the market most of the stalls were closed. I guess that is where I think like an American, the day before the day before Christmas everything is open and open late in some cases. Not in Spain. I will let you know what my menu consisted of after dinner........
Posted by Tara Plizga at 3:21 AM