A Spanish-style Traditional Christmas by Emi Pastor
Christmas in Spain is not so very different from Christmas elsewhere, but there are one or two traditions that may sound slightly exotic to Scottish ears, and I’ll set them out here.
First of all, our festive period is longer, running from the 22nd December until the 7th of January. We celebrate the end of Christmas with presents brought from faraway lands by the Three Wise Men (traditionally marked by the Epiphany). This, of course, makes the youngest members of the family very merry, but it pleases the grownups too. Traditionally Santa Claus has never been recognised in Spain, but nowadays that is changing, and like the reyes mago” (3 wise men), he now sometimes brings presents too.
The Spanish Lottery
A more recent, and much more secular tradition, is El Gordo, the Spanish Christmas Lottery. This, too, is celebrated on the 22nd of December. It’s the most popular draw of the year in Spain and in fact, is considered the biggest worldwide since it was first celebrated in 1812. Winning El Gordo’s jackpot is one of the best Spanish Christmas presents you could hope for.
As in many other parts of the world, Christmas trees, fancy city lights, and splashes of red, green, and white decorations make their appearance during the festive period. However, something quite particular we have is the Portal de Belén: tiny models of Bethlehem to represent the Nativity, with many accompanying structures such as the desert, town, angel, shepherds and farm animals.
Christmas is a period of relaxation and spending time with family and friends. However, some students may be staying on campus over Christmas due to living far away and this can be an opportunity to explore festive activities or take some time to relax.
There are advantages to staying on campus over Christmas like having more space, peace, and quiet! The library even has Ebooks to get you in the mood for Christmas for example the classic, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Activities include the Christmas Market, Edinburgh Napier University’s Carol Service, and Hogmanay 2022. There is even a Christmas Tree Maze you can get lost in and the Santa Fun Run & Walk at Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh is open to registration to help fundraise for Children in Scotland who live with threatening illnesses:
Edinburgh Christmas Market
Perhaps you may want to visit and check-in with your friends, which also opens opportunities to explore more of the United Kingdom. Or even hike the wonderful mountains and hills of the Scottish Highlands, where you may even find patches of Snow- the Cairngorm Mountain near Aviemore is best known for Skiing and Snowboarding in Scotland!
Snowy mountain Highlands
The University is here if you need a little extra support over the holidays:
The Christmas holidays have finally arrived, and you might be thinking it is time to get those feet up, relax, enjoy a hot drink and binge-watch all your favourite Christmas movies!
A cosy Christmas
But wait a moment… as there is still studying to be done. Here are some tips on how to motivate yourself whilst studying over the festive season:
Break it up:
Spend a few hours each day or every other day to break up your study period- you can set some time during the morning or evening then you have the rest of the day to enjoy your break and catch up on those movies!
Read and Research:
Set time in your schedule for reading and researching in your comfiest chair, you can do this along with your cup of coffee or tea for extra comfort. You can check out some of our books to help you with your studies via our Library Search
Treat yourself in between breaks (by this we mean opening the celebrations tubs, eating mince pies, gingerbread men, and anything festive to motivate you throughout the Christmas period).
Christmas Star Biscuits
Family and Friends:
Ask a friend or family member to proofread your essay, project, or dissertation. You could engage in a conversation about your current topic and share your opinions which you never know…may end up being the main outcome of your work!
Organising and Planning:
Use your home space to organise your work, create study note tips, and plan your schedule throughout the week using a calendar, a table, or a ‘to-do list’.
Edinburgh Napier Information Services sends their best wishes to everyone studying!