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Number 9. December of 1998. Spanish language  Principal menu

The Christmas

The Holidays of Nativity, New Year and Kings, have common origins and they were created from the Middle Ages. The difficult fixing of the birthdate of Christ (748 of Rome or 6 year before the Era), is settled with the assignment of the midnight of the 25 of December to that event, such as introduced Dionisio the Scanty in the VI century . The common sentiment of this celebration, it is that it conditions the meeting of persons customarily absent, giving strength to the physical presence or moral of `the home. In this commemoration can not lack the Mass of the Rooster, in the one which have been executed the most rustic musics, the imitation of bird songs with little jugs and woodpeckers, the use of jingles, the pastoral instruments, etc., .. The Christmas Night nevertheless, it has other meant furthermore, since claustration an economic stage and a cattleman cycle, to the one which is joined the consumption of first fruits kept (to such effect) during all year round. Until the reign of Pedro IVth, the year was ending 25 of March ( XIV century, - 1350 -), being from Felipe IIth when is passed to the 31 of December (1 of January). During the Christmas dates, it is lavished the charity; this is a manner of avoiding that José and María are without I covering. The houses are cleaned that night to receive the guests and is lit a good fire in the chimney; it is considered that the blight or trunks are lit all night, to the fact that the Child may have no cold. The Belén that it will be omnipresent, it is originating in the ceremonies of San Francisco of Asís, imported from Nápoles, by Carlos IIIth. More ancient yet, they are the trees: mistletoe ( Bronze Age) or the oak. The `tronca' (trunk) on the other hand, it is related to the foreign usage of the Christmas tree. With respect to the candies so divulged in these dates, they are typical the candied jingles, almonds, sugarplum, raisins, nougat and chestnuts.Children before the Belén The foods, in other times, they could be tremendous, as results the real from the Christmas day, registered in the File of the Crown in 1.267, with : 31 sheep, 350 eggs, 30 rabbit pars, 36 gelding pars, 5 goose pars, 12 partridge pars, 5 bread panels, 228 of wine and ten salaries in cones and something else; though certainly, it is not specified the number of congregated persons. The origin of the nougat is Moorish (and were used only in these holidays) as the gourd and spinach candies; later will be the consumption of the turkey.

After the Mass of the Rooster, is made collation of: thistle, celery, guirlache (roast almond brittle), empanadicos of espinais (spinach pies) or gourd, pestillo (Barbastro), with almonds and dry fruits, poncho as drink; afterwards already, it will arrive the turkey and the bream. But what is important, with all, was the bus of the dinner. In the Somontano were tended to say To Christmas, to "cadiera" (To Christmas, to hearth). 28 of December, were celebrated the holiday of the Innocent Saints, with its joker look that, commemorates the disillusion suffered by Herodes that it does not finish with the life of Jesus when orders the 2-year-old smallers beheading and that by certain, cipher in 3.000 and some 144.000, what supposes a high population in the Belén of those times (that one is resisted to believe). Everywhere was requested quantities of money that was not returned, said: The Innocent Saints you will pay it Other jokes were celebrated with a `- Innocent, Innocent !!. The last days of year, was requested bonuses by the houses; the kids were regaling with canticles the generosity and were them warned that in the square there was a donkey with as many ears, foots or mouths as days the year had; if it was 31, were tried to a man with so many noses ....

The Gospel of San Mateo, says that arrived some East Magicians (it does not say you kings neither that they would be three; and less refers the names). They were guided by the star and were approached the house (does not say porch, neither grotto), where offered gold, incense and myrrh. The magicians were so glad to their return, that distributed their exchequers between all; since then, they repeat it annually between the kids of everybody. Simple BelenIs curious that it's said that Melchor was not grey-haired, but younger than the blond Gaspar and more impetuous than the black Baltasar. The restlessness by seeing to the Child, made to him bump into his colleagues and to arm noise, therefore Jesus punished to him graying to him, to make to him prudent and tranquil. Also it is counted that, two brothers were afflicted of seeing barefooted to Jesus and let to Him their shoes; This rewarded them returning the footwear together with gifts, and it is since then that is let the shoe in the balcony to receive the offerings.

The Christmas carols are the Christmas songs, that until theXVII century were popular songs only, compounds to the manner of the verses of the Marquis of Santillana, being intoneed in Huesca, in the XVIII century against the Greater Mayor. With the time, the Christmas carols were put in shepherds mouth, and then in that of all one. In reality they take its elements of what is popular, trying to the Sacred Family, to the manner to the peasants or shepherds. These Christmas carols present a series of popular topics, that put of protagonist to the Jesus Child shepherd, to the Virgin busied in the labors of the house (washing clothes or being combed before the mirror), and to San José as an easy-going family father, to who is fallen the cooking pot of the crumbs, or are lost to him the trouserss.

For the New Year, at twelve o'clock of the night, it is cosumed a grape grain with each ring that brand the end of the year underway and the principle of the new one. This rite of eating the grapes, it is not something else that take issue with the good crops had, with so large vintages that they have arrived even until these dates; because of this, it is celebrated with the same hopefulness for the coming year.

* Manuel Tomé Bosqued

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