Connect with us

Spain

Ten magical ways to give your kids the best Spanish Christmas ever

What child wouldn't love the fact that in Spain you get to celebrate, not once, nor twice, but three times, during the festive period? Lisa Sadleir tells The Local how to get the best out of Christmas in Spain.

Stop by a Christmas Market

Photo: denAsuncioner/Flickr

Every city and town throughout the country has some kind of Christmas Market where stalls sell ornate figurines for the nativity, Christmas trees, decorations, flowers, hand-crafted gifts, sweets and other typical local products are sold.

Visit your local Belén

Photo: Ayuntamiento Madrid

As Spain is a Roman Catholic country, the nativity is a very important part of the celebration of Christmas. We always make time to visit them wherever we are and they can sometimes turn out to be far removed from the traditional representation – I'll never forget taking the family to see a Barbie and Ken nativity scene: Barbie was belly dancing for Ken who was sitting in an arm chair drinking beer. It wasn’t quite t..

Published

on

What child wouldn't love the fact that in Spain you get to celebrate, not once, nor twice, but three times, during the festive period? Lisa Sadleir tells The Local how to get the best out of Christmas in Spain.

Stop by a Christmas Market

Photo: denAsuncioner/Flickr

Every city and town throughout the country has some kind of Christmas Market where stalls sell ornate figurines for the nativity, Christmas trees, decorations, flowers, hand-crafted gifts, sweets and other typical local products are sold.

Visit your local Belén


Photo: Ayuntamiento Madrid

As Spain is a Roman Catholic country, the nativity is a very important part of the celebration of Christmas. We always make time to visit them wherever we are and they can sometimes turn out to be far removed from the traditional representation – I'll never forget taking the family to see a Barbie and Ken nativity scene: Barbie was belly dancing for Ken who was sitting in an arm chair drinking beer. It wasn’t quite the earnest religious moment we were expecting!

Book a Christmas show

Photo: Cirque du Soleil has a show in Madrid until January 18th 2018

Whether its a pantomime, circus or musical theatre, Christmas is a great time to get the family together for a trip to show. English speaking amateur dramatics groups across Spain stage pantos and many places see shows such as Cirque du Soleil roll into town

Eat turrón, mantecads and polvorones


Photo: Fiona Govan

In Spain it just wouldn't be Christmas without the candy known as turrón. Turrón is a nougat made out of almonds, honey and sugar, and comes in both hard and soft varieties. Other Spanish Christmas treats include marzipan, mantecados, and polvorones, which are traditional Spanish Christmas biscuits.

Learn some Spanish "villancicos"


Photo: Ayuntamiento de Valdemoro/Flickr

Spain has its own Christmas carols to be sung around the tree on Christmas Eve. Here is a guide to some of my favourites.

Ring the bells


Photo: Lorenzoclick/Flickr

Another fun Christmas Eve musical tradition involves the ringing of bells – at midnight all of the church bells sound, calling everyone to a church service called "La Misa Del Gallo," or the rooster's mass. It is fun to give each child a small hand bell to ring in Christmas Day, the Spanish way.

Prepare a Christmas Eve Box


Photo: Jenn Durfey / Flickr

This can be prepared as a gift to kickstart the Christmas festivities. Our boxes contained a pair of pyjamas, some socks, chocolates, a Christmas mug with a selection of hot chocolate drinks and a book. It can help soothe the excitement of a visit from Santa and persuade little ones to snuggle up in bed.

Don't forget about Santa


Photo: Fiona Govan

In Spain, Santa may not be the big Christmas star that he is in countries such as the UK and America, having to compete as he does with the Three Kings as bearer of gifts. But is popularity is growing and he may even be appearing at a grotto within a shopping center near you.

As we all know, he travels across the whole world on Christmas eve, so although you may not have a mince pie handy here in Spain, apparently Santa is rather partial to turrón, so don't forget to leave him a piece alongside the carrot for Rudolph.

Write to Los Reyes Magos


Photo: AFP

In Spain, the festive season lingers into the New Year when on the evening of January 5th, children get a visit from the Three Kings (Wise Men). In fact it is to them and not Santa that Spanish children write a letter with their Christmas wish list and assurances that they have spent the year being good.

Letters should be delivered before January 5th to one of the royal pages at shopping centres and city squares around Spain.

Catch Sweets at La Cabalgata


Children collecting sweets during the Three Kings parade in Madrid. Photo: Zona Retiro/Flickr

Spain’s villages, towns and cities receive the traditional, joyful visit of the Three Wise Men of the East: Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar in a parade on the evening of January 5th.

It is an exciting experience for children of all ages. The parade represents the journey made by the Three Kings on their camels, following the star to the Bethlehem stable where Jesus was born. Streets are packed by floats carrying the kings and a whole host of weird and wonderful characters who throw sweets into the crowd. The children will love it.

Top Tip: Take an umbrella, turn it upside down and your children will be able to use it to catch loads of sweets!

Lisa Sadleir isa relocation consultantand mother of two bilingual children living in Malaga. She writes a blog and is the author of Moving to Spain with Children.

Original Article

The post Ten magical ways to give your kids the best Spanish Christmas ever appeared first on News Wire Now.

Continue Reading

Spain

Spain – Gas falls below 90 euros per MWh for the first time in almost two months

Published

on

The price of TTF natural gas for delivery next month has fallen below 90 euros on Friday for the first time in almost two months and closes a week marked by the decision of the European Commission to cap gas with a drop of 29, 36%.
According to data from the Bloomberg platform, gas closed this Friday at 83 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh), 8.9% less than the day before and the first time it has lost 90 euros since last October 31.
After months of negotiations, the EU agreed on Monday to set a cap of 180 euros on contracts linked to the Amsterdam TTF index with a price difference of at least 35 euros above the average price of liquefied natural gas in the markets.

EU countries agree on a cap of 180 euros for gas with the support of Germany
In a report this week, the Swiss investment bank Julius Baer indicated that the chances of the mechanism being activated are low and pointed out that the chosen formula was not very effective in avoiding the multiplier effect that gas has on the price of electricity. However, he reiterated what was said in other previous reports: “Energy supply risks are minimal and prices should continue to decline in the future” due to the availability of raw materials from Asia to offset cuts from Russia.

Gas tends to fall during the hot months due to lower demand, but this summer it has reached historic heights as European countries were buying to face the winter with their tanks full and reduce their dependence on Russia. The price fell in September and October due to lower demand once the warehouses were full due to the high temperatures at the beginning of autumn, but in November it picked up again and 66% more expensive.

This article was originally published on Público

Continue Reading

Spain

Spain – The retirement age rises to 66 years

Published

on

Ordinary retirement at age 65 ends for those who have contributed less than 38 years. In fact, 2023 will be the last year in which this can be done since it will be necessary to have a contribution career of a minimum of 37 years and nine months to be able to retire with the reference age of the last century, since it was established in 1919, and once the year is over another quarter will be added to be able to do it without cuts in the benefit.
This requirement means that to access ordinary retirement at age 65 without loss of pay, it will be necessary to have been working, at least, since April 1985 for those who exercise this right in December 2023 and since May 1984 for those who intend to do it in January.

More than ten million contributory pensioners
In the last decade, and coinciding with the implementation of the delay program, the real retirement age of Spanish workers has increased by one year, from 63.9 in 2012 to 64.8 in mid-2022, according to data from the Financial Economic Report of the Social Security included in the General State Budget.

Contributory pensions will have a historic rise of 8.5% as of January as a result of the disproportionate increase in the CPI, while for non-contributory pensions the revision will be 15%. This review will place the average pension of the contributory system at 1,187 euros per pay, while the retirement pension will rise to 1,365, the disability pension will reach 1,122 and the widow’s pension will reach 847, as a result of applying the 8.5% increase.

The Social Security forecasts point to next year, and while waiting to find out the real effects that the rise may have on the payroll due to its “call effect” to bring forward retirement given the opportunity to alleviate with it the penalties for anticipating it, the number of pensioners will consolidate above ten million, with almost two-thirds of them (6.37) as retirees, to which will be added 2.3 million widows and almost one affected by work disabilities.

This record number of pensioners will place the cost of pensions at 209,165 million euros, the bulk of which (196,399, 93.8%) will be used to pay benefits, including non-contributory ones. Health care has a budget of 1,890 million euros and social services another 3,791, while the remaining 7,144 are dedicated to operating expenses.

On the revenue side, the largest contribution comes from the contribution chapter, which will amount to 152,075 million and will leave the gap with contributory benefits at 36,765.
The imbalance will be covered by a contribution of 38,904 from the Government, to which is added a chapter of others worth 18,116 and which includes everything from sanctions to asset disposals, among other concepts.

Read more of this from the source Público

Continue Reading

Spain

Spain – Workers protest in Madrid for a wage increase

Published

on

Inditex workers have demonstrated in Madrid this Saturday, at the beginning of the winter sales, for a wage increase and “decent” working conditions, during a day of a strike called by the CGT union.
Several hundred people have gathered to protest on Calle Preciados in Madrid in a day of shop assistants’ strike that was called throughout Spain, but which has had its greatest impact in the Community of Madrid.

This concentration occurs after the agreement was reached in Galicia on December 23 after several days of protests, in which the store employees of A Coruña reached an agreement with the group. Under this agreement, store staff, more than 1,500 people in Galicia, will have a monthly increase in salary bonuses of 322 euros during the first year, 362 euros during the second and 382 euros thereafter.

The secretary of the state section of CGT in Zara and Lefties, Ánibal Maestro, explained that the Inditex workers have decided to “take a step forward against precariousness”.

“The benefits are distributed among the shareholders and directors meeting and we demand a salary increase, so that they realize that the workers are the engine”, he has defended.

For their part, the CCOO and UGT announced this week that they will start negotiating with Inditex on January 25 at the state table on global wage measures that offset the impact of inflation in all group companies and in all territories.

Specifically, the CCOO recalled that in recent weeks, and in coordination with the UGT, the firm chaired by Marta Ortega has been asked to formalize the state table throughout this month to address global aspects of salary policy in all companies of the group and in all territories, bearing in mind both the situation and levels of provincial collective agreements, as well as the impact that inflation is having on the purchasing power of the workforce, as well as the commitment to review and improve the system of commissions for Store staff.

This article was originally published on Público

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 , madridjournals.com