Spanish Phrases: Christmas and the New Year

This page deals with various Spanish words and phrases connected with Christmas. The first are general items of vocabulary for naming dates, general Christmas activities:

la Navidad-Christmas
¡feliz Navidad!-Merry Christmas!
¡feliz año nuevo!-Happy New Year!
navideño-Christmas (adjective), Christmassy
durante las vacaciones de Navidad-in the Christmas Holidays
regalos-presents
la Nochebuena-Christmas Eve
el Día de Navidad-Christmas Day
el Día de Reyes-Epiphany
el 26 de diciembre-Boxing Day (not really a special day outside the UK!)
la Nochevieja, la Noche del año viejo-New Year's Eve
el Día del Año Year-New Year's Day
envolver los regalos-to wrap the presents
mandarles tarjetas/regalos de Navidad a sus amigos-to send friends Christmas cards/presents
le mandé una tarjeta (de Navidad) a mi hermano-I sent my brother a (Christmas) card
(ir a) un mercado navideño-(to go to) a Christmas market
(organizar) una fiesta navideña-(to have) a Christmas party
la comida navideña-Christmas food/"dinner"1
me regalaron para la Navidad ...-I got ... for Christmas
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1. Actually lunch...

Christmas decorations

Here are the Spanish names of some common Christmas decorations:

adornos de Navidad-Christmas decorations
poner un árbol de Navidad-to put a Christmas tree up
un pino-a pine tree
decorar el árbol-to decorate the tree
esferas-baubles
diamantina-glitter
oropel-tinsel
una piñata-a piņata
(las) luces de Navidad-(the) Christmas tree lights, Christmas lights
un nacimiento-a crib, Nativity
un belén-a crib, Nativity (Spain)
velas-candles
colgar-to hang
(está) colgado en la pared-(it's) hanging on the wall
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Things, events, places and figures associated with Christmas

Here are the Spanish words for various things associated with Christmas. Of course, not all of these images are culturally relevant in all Spanish-speaking countries, which are largely Catholic and predominantly hot (if it could snow, your snowmen would melt pretty quickly at 30 degrees Celcius)!

Belén-Bethlehem
María y José-Mary and Joseph
el nacimiento de Jesús-the Birth of Jesus
el pesebre-the Manger
los reyes (magos)-the Three Wise Men
la Misa del Gallo-Midnight Mass
Papa Noel, Santa Claus-Father Christmas, Santa, Santa Claus
un reno-a reindeer
los renos-the reindeer
el trineo de Papa Noel-Santa's sleigh
cascabeles-sleighbells
"Rodolfo de la Nariz Roja"-"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (generally less known in Spanish speaking countries)
Santa Claus-Santa, Santa Claus
San Nicolás-St Nicholas
Groenlandia-Greenland
villancicos-carols
niños/personas que cantan villancicos-(child/adult) carolsingers
la nieve-snow
está nevando-it's snowing
(hacer) un muñeco de nieve-(to build) a snowman
(lanzar) bolas de nieve-(to throw) snowballs
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Christmas food and drink

Here are some translations of Anglosaxon Christmas food, plus the names of some traditional Christmas food from Spanish-speaking countries:

bacalao-cod (eaten in Latin American countries where it is more of a delicacy than in Europe!)
budín-pudding
buñuelos-type of fritters
(el) brandy-brandy
(el) champán-champagne
(la) cidra-cider
colaciones-chocolate or sugar-coated nut snacks
fruit cake-Chritsmas cake, fruit cake
lomo mechado-stuffed pork
pavo-turkey
(mole de) guajolote-turkey (in chocolate mole sauce)
ponche-fruit punch
romeros-traditional Mexican dish made with seed and prawn dumplings and mole sauce
una rosca de reyes-a king cake, Epiphany cake (common in Spain and Mexico)
un tronco de Navidad-a Yule log
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Page written by Neil Coffey. Copyright (c) Javamex UK 2014. All rights reserved.