Spanish Language Blog

Spanish Christmas vocabulary and expressions Posted by on Dec 30, 2013 in Spanish Vocabulary

Although Christmas is almost over for some of you, (here in Spain it lasts till next January the 6th), I want to share some useful vocabulary and expressions related to this festivity.

Nochebuena: Christmas Eve
Día de navidad: Christmas Day
Año Nuevo: New Year
Nochevieja: New Year’s Eve
Día de año nuevo: New Year’s Day
Vacaciones de Navidad: Christmas holidays
Día de Reyes: 6th January (the day when presents are traditionally given)
Noche de Reyes: Twelfth Night
Día de los Santos Inocentes: 28th December (similar to April Fool’s Day)

Christmas “things”

Regalo de navidad: Christmas present
Adornos de Navidad: Christmas decorations
Muérdago: mistletoe
Acebo: holly
Flor de Pascua, Pascuelo: Poinsettia
Comida de Navidad: Christmas dinner
Tarjeta de Navidad: Christmas card
Árbol de navidad: Christmas tree
Villancico: Christmas carol
Espumillón: tinsel
Adorno (del árbol de navidad): bauble
La misa del gallo: Midnight Mass
El belén: Nativity scene
La cabalgata: A Christmas parade during the Twelfth Night, where the Three Wise Men give candies and presents to children.
Oro, incienso y mirra: gold, frankincense and myrrh
Papá Noel: Father Christmas, Santa Claus
Turrón: nougat candy
Mazapán: marzipan
Mantecado: Christmas sweet made from flour, almonds and lard.
Polvorón:  Typical Spanish sweet, dry and powdery, made with almonds
El Gordo: Massive Christmas lottery which takes place on 22nd December.
Tomar las uvas: to see the New Year in ( In Spain we eat twelve grapes the night of the 31st of December to have good luck every month in the new coming year).


Feliz Navidad: Merry Christmas!
Próspero Año Nuevo: Happy New Year!
¡Felices Fiestas/Pascuas!: Season’s Greetings

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About the Author: Magda

Hi all! I’m Magda, a Spanish native speaker writing the culture posts in the Transparent Language Spanish blog. I have a Bachelor’s in English Philology and a Master’s in Linguistics and Literature from the University of Granada, in Spain. I have also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and then worked as an English teacher in several schools and academies for several years. Last year was my first at university level. In addition, I work as a private tutor, teaching English and Spanish as a foreign language to students and adults. In my free time, I’m an avid reader and writer, editing and collaborating in several literary blogs. I have published my first poetry book recently. And last but not least, I love photography!


  1. ramesh krishnamurthy:

    why is it ‘navidad’ and not ‘natividad’? why has the ‘-ti-‘ syllable disappeared?

    • Magda:

      @ramesh krishnamurthy Couldn´t find the precise linguistic evolution Ramesh, I don´t know the reason.