SpanishPod101.com Blog
Learn Spanish with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Spanish Culture' Category

Carnaval in Spain: How to Celebrate the Spanish Carnival

In 2010, the Cádiz Carnivals were considered to be one of the ten treasures of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Spain. According to some historians, the origin of this festival, which usually lasts three days and in which people dress up in costumes, dates back to ancient Egypt and Sumer, about 5,000 years ago.

Thus, you can see how the Spanish Carnival is an integral part of Spain’s culture. Let SpanishPod101.com show you all the interesting facets of the Spanish Carnival, including the famous burial of the Sardine and more Spanish Carnival facts!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

1. What is Spanish Carnival?

In Spain, Carnival is a time of feasting and celebration before the Lent period of fasting. This is a holiday long celebrated throughout history, and the concept is common throughout the world—that of indulgence and fun before the fasting begins.

From Spanish Carnival masks to an array of exciting dances, the Spanish Carnival is quite the celebration. Indeed, the Carnival of Spain is not something to be missed!

2. When is it?

Large Group of People

The date of the Spanish Carnival season varies each year as it depends on the date of Easter. For your convenience, here’s this holiday’s date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: March 4
  • 2020: February 24
  • 2021: February 15
  • 2022: January 31
  • 2023: February 20
  • 2024: February 12
  • 2025: March 3
  • 2026: February 16
  • 2027: February 8
  • 2028: February 28

3. How is it Celebrated?

Two People Dancing

Learn about how the Spanish Carnival is celebrated by reading the Spanish text below (you can find the English translation directly below it).
—–
Aunque dura oficialmente 11 días, los ensayos, concursos y actos gastronómicos consiguen que el ambiente de carnaval dure cerca de un mes. De Cadiz son conocidísimas las chirigotas. Son agrupaciones músico coral que canta principalmente por las calles ofreciendo coplas humorísticas. Es típico en estas fechas ver los concursos de estas y otras agrupaciones por televisión.

El Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife es otro de los más populares. En esta fiesta se disfruta de más de una semana de música, baile y disfraces. A estos días le preceden otros en los que tiene lugar la presentación de las candidatas a Reina. También los diversos concursos de murgas infantiles y adultas, que tienen su origen en las chirigotas gaditanas. Se realiza al final el Entierro de la Sardina. Consiste en un desfile que parodia un cortejo fúnebre y culmina con la quema de una figura, normalmente representando a una sardina. Se celebra tradicionalmente el miércoles de Ceniza.

En el Carnaval de Gran Canaria se celebran dos galas de gran fama. Una en la se que elige la Reina y otra en la que se elige al Drag Queen del Carnaval. La fiesta comienza con el pregón del Carnaval. Un acto muy esperado también es la Gran Cabalgata del sábado siguiente a la Gala de elección de la Reina y del Drag Queen.

En Solsona cuenta la leyenda que enviaron un burro a comer la hierba del campanario de la catedral. Decidieron subirlo colgado del cuello y el animal vació en este momento la vejiga sobre el público. Hoy se sigue recordando en sus carnavales esto con la ‘Colgada del burro’… aunque el animal es de cartón-piedra y peluche, y relleno de agua.
—–

Though they officially last 11 days, gastronomic events, competitions and rehearsals make the atmosphere of Carnival last about a month. From Cádiz, the “chirigotas” are extremely well known. They are musical choir groups who sing mainly in the streets, offering humorous verses. It is typical on these dates to see the contests between these and other groups on television.

The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is another of the most popular ones. At this celebration you can enjoy more than one week of music, dancing and costumes. These days are preceded by others in which the presentation of the candidates to the throne of the Queen takes place. There are also different contests for children’s and adults’ bands of street musicians, which have their origin in the Cadiz Carnival. These are held at the end of the burial of the sardine. That consists of a parade that parodies a funeral procession and culminates with the burning of a figure, usually representing a sardine. This is traditionally celebrated on Ash Wednesday.

In the Gran Canaria Carnival, two very famous galas are held: one in which the Queen is chosen and another in which the Drag Queen of the Carnival is chosen. The celebration begins with the proclamation of the Carnival. Another highly anticipated event is a parade held on the Saturday following the election of the Queen and Drag Queen.

In Solsona the legend has it a donkey was sent to eat the grass of the bell tower of the Cathedral. The people decided to lift it by hanging it from the neck, at which time, the animal emptied its bladder over the crowd. Today this is still remembered at its Carnivals with the “hanging of the donkey”… Although the animal now is papier-mâché, plush, and filled with water.

4. Additional Information

However, there are many other places in the country where Carnival leaves a different mark, a more ritual one. In these places, the celebration is focused on rural and indigenous communities, in Spanish “comunidades indígenas,” where the participants take over the streets and rejoice in the music, dancing, regional masks, and costumes or “disfraces”. These aspects combine to transform the celebration into a more locally traditional affair.

The Carnival of Morelos is one of the ones that best preserve this local tradition. Here, the most popular dance is the chinelos’ dance, or “danza de los chinelos”, a dance which has been preserved with few changes for more than a century.

A “chinelo” is a comical representation of the Spanish colonial people. These Spanish Carnival costumes are fantastically vivid—long robes of velvet and multicolor layers, palm hats covered with black velvet that extend upward, decorated with fretwork, flowers, drawings and feathers; and masks with a white complexion and rosy cheeks, blue eyes, a mustache and pointy beard. You certainly won’t forget seeing these Spanish Carnival costumes!

The celebration starts with the procession of the chinelos, who begin by doing a few dances. Upon arriving at the plaza square, they begin to jump up and down, hopping on their tiptoes. The dancers jump energetically, spinning around, and continue for hours until it’s time for the “fireworks,” or fuegos artificiales, and popular dance.

5. Must-know Vocab

Carnival Queen Image

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Spanish Carnival season!

  • Abarrotado — “Crowded”
  • Bailar — “Dance”
  • Carnaval — “Carnival”
  • Desfile — “Parade”
  • Disfraz — “Costume”
  • Reina del carnaval — “Carnival queen”
  • Entierro de la sardina — “Burial of the Sardine”
  • Máscara — “Mask”
  • Confeti — “Confetti”
  • Celebración — “Celebration”

If you want to hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, visit our Carnival in Spain vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

Wow! What do you think of the Carnival in Spain and Mexico? Do you celebrate Carnival or a similar holiday in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

To learn even more about Spanish culture and the language, visit us at SpanishPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and even an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Spanish learners. Further, you can check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Spanish teacher!

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Carnival Spanish holiday and that you took something valuable away from this lesson. Keep up the hard work and you’ll begin to speak like a native in no time, and be a master of the culture!

How to Say I Love You in Spanish - Romantic Word List

Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in Spanish could be just what you need to find it.

Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your Spanish partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At SpanishPod101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your Spanish lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make Spanish dating easy for you.

Table of Contents

  1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
  2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
  3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
  4. Spanish Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
  5. Spanish Quotes about Love
  6. Marriage Proposal Lines
  7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
  8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn Spanish Faster?

Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Spanish

1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

So, you have met your Spanish love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the Spanish word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these Spanish date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

Spanish Date Phrases

Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

  • ¿Te gustaría ir a cenar conmigo?

The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in Spanish is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

Are you free this weekend?

  • ¿Estás libre este fin de semana?

This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

Would you like to hang out with me?

  • ¿Quieres salir conmigo?

You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

What time shall we meet tomorrow?

  • ¿A qué hora nos vemos mañana?

Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

Where shall we meet?

  • ¿Donde nos vemos?

You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

You look great.

  • Te ves genial.

A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

You are so cute.

  • Eres tan linda.

If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

What do you think of this place?

  • ¿Qué opinas de este lugar?

This another good conversation starter. Show off your Spanish language skills!

Can I see you again?

  • ¿Puedo verte de nuevo?

So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

Shall we go somewhere else?

  • ¿Vamos a otro lugar?

If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

I know a good place.

  • Conozco un buen lugar.

Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

I will drive you home.

  • Voy a llevarte a tu casa.

If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

That was a great evening.

  • Fue una gran noche.

This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

When can I see you again?

  • ¿Cuándo puedo volver a verte?

If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

I’ll call you.

  • Te llamaré.

Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

Sneak Peek! Log in to Download this Cheat Sheet!Sneak Peek! Log in to Download this Cheat Sheet!

2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

You learned all the Spanish phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in Spanish below!

Date Ideas in Spanish

museum

  • museo

If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

candlelit dinner

  • cena con velas

A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

go to the zoo

  • ir al zoológico

This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

go for a long walk

  • dar un largo paseo

Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

go to the opera

  • ir a la ópera

This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

go to the aquarium

  • ir al acuario

Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

walk on the beach

  • caminar en la playa

This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

have a picnic

  • tener un picnic

If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

cook a meal together

  • cocinar una comida juntos

If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

have dinner and see a movie

  • cenar y ver una película

This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Valentine's Day Words in Spanish

Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in Spanish - think how impressed your date will be!

4. Spanish Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in Spanish yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in Spanish? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your Spanish love on this special day!

Valentine's Day Words in Spanish

I love you.

  • Te amo.

Saying ‘I love you’ in Spanish carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

You mean so much to me.

  • Tú quieres decir mucho para mí.

This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

Will you be my Valentine?

  • ¿Quieres ser mi Valentín?

With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

You’re so beautiful.

  • Eres tan bella.

If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in Spanish, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

I think of you as more than a friend.

  • Pienso en ti como algo más que un amigo.

Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the Spanish dating culture.

A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

  • Cien corazones serían demasiado pocos para contener todo mi amor por ti.

You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

Love is just love. It can never be explained.

  • Amor es sólo amor. No puede ser explicado.

If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

You’re so handsome.

  • Eres tan guapo.

Ladies, this phrase lets your Spanish love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

I’ve got a crush on you.

  • Me estoy enamorando de ti.

If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

You make me want to be a better man.

  • Me haces querer ser un hombre mejor.

Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your Spanish girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

Let all that you do be done in love.

  • Que todo lo que hagas sea con amor.

We hope.

You are my sunshine, my love.

  • Tú eres mi rayo de sol, mi amor.

A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

Words can’t describe my love for you.

  • Las palabras no pueden describir mi amor por ti.

Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

We were meant to be together.

  • Estámos destinados a estar juntos.

This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

  • Si estabas pensando en alguien mientras leías esto, definitivamente estás enamorado.

Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

5. Spanish Quotes about Love

Spanish Love Quotes

You’re a love champ! You and your Spanish lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in Spanish that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

6. Marriage Proposal Lines

Spanish Marriage Proposal Lines

Wow. Your Spanish lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the Spanish custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

Spanish Break-Up Lines

Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • I’m not good enough for you.
    • No soy lo suficientemente bueno para ti.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • No eres tú. Soy yo.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your Spanish lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • No estoy listo para este tipo de relación.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • Seamos solo amigos.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in Spanish, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • Creo que necesitamos terminar.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • Mereces algo mejor.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • Deberíamos empezar a ver a otras personas.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • Necesito mi espacio.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • Creo que estamos avanzando muy rápido.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • Necesito concentrarme en mi carrera.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    We need to talk.

    • Tenemos que hablar.

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • Ya no te quiero más.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • Simplemente no somos el uno para el otro.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • Es lo mejor.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • Nos hemos distanciado.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn Spanish faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. SpanishPod101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the Spanish language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn Spanish Faster!

    null

    1- Being in a love relationship with your Spanish speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    SpanishPod101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you Spanish, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn Spanish even faster.

    2- Having your Spanish romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced Spanish language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive Spanish lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your Spanish partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why SpanishPod101 helps you learn Spanish Even Faster when you’re In Love

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Spanish

    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking Spanish is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at SpanishPod101 is translated into both English and Spanish. So, while your partner can help you learn Spanish faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with Spanish Culture
    At SpanishPod101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in Spain. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your Spanish partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic Spanish Phrases
    You now have access to SpanishPod101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your Spanish soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!

    Dia de la Candelaria: How to Celebrate Candlemas in Mexico

    Candlemas

    In the very Catholic Mexico, many celebrate the religious holiday known as Candlemas (or Dia de la Candelaria in Spanish). By learning about this holiday, you’re also immersing yourself in one of the most important aspects of Mexican culture: its people’s religious beliefs, and how they’re expressed through celebration.

    So, what is Candlemas Day in Mexico? What are the most common Mexican holidays and traditions surrounding this holiday? Learn more about the significance of the Nativity scene in this holiday and more, with SpanishPod101.com.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    1. What is Spanish Candlemas?

    Candlemas in Mexico may be best known as the day that Mexicans finally take down the Nativity scene that they put up before Christmas. This is a very religious holiday, and is also known as the day of the “Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.”

    This name takes root in the biblical book of Luke, and also commemorates the cleansing of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to Jewish custom, a woman must be cleansed about a month after giving birth and so Candlemas is thought to be the approximate time Mary would have done so.

    2. When is it?

    Calendar

    Mexicans celebrate Candlemas forty days after Christmas, February 2, each year.

    3. How is it Celebrated?

    Celebration

    On Dia de la Candelaria, Mexicans take down the Nativity scene that they set up before Christmas. Further, many people will dress up figures of the baby Jesus to be blessed once at the iglesia, or “church.” This blessed figurine Jesus is then placed somewhere to dwell for the rest of the year, sometimes with a family who’s then expected to open their home to any visitors for that period of time.

    Another common tradition is the gathering of family and friends to feast together, particularly on tamals, or “tamales.” During this fiesta, or “party,” many Mexicans also make a special bread called rosca, which is shaped like a wreath and contains a figurine of the baby Jesus baked inside of it. A fun tradition centering on this is that the person who finds this figurine is the one to dress the Baby Jesus that will be blessed.

    Sometimes this Baby Jesus is a relic possessed by the family for many generations, making it a very sentimental aspect of the holiday. However, other families go out and buy a new one if they don’t already have one. Regardless of how long this Baby Jesus figurine has been in the family for, its blessing at the church is one of the most important things that will happen all year and is greatly relished by the family as a whole.

    While feasting, they also like to drink something called atole, which has a corn base and is typically served hot or warm. This beverage is certainly fitting to the comfort and warmth that Dia de la Candelaria holds.

    There are some places in Mexico that really go all out with Candlemas celebrations, complete with bull fights and special parades to enjoy.

    4. Additional Information

    The Nativity scene, or in Spanish Nacimiento, is a representation of Jesus Christ’s birth. They’re always set up prior to Christmas, traditionally on December 8, according to the celebration of the Conception; they stay up until February 2, the day of Candlemas.

    Under the Mexican tradition, Nativity scenes represent Mary and Joseph with clay figures in a manger or a “stable,” or establo, joined by a “mule,” or mula, and an “ox,” or toro. The scene can also include other figures to adore the Christ child, such as “shepherds,” or pastores, “angels,” or ángeles, and the “star of Bethlehem,” or estrella de Belén.

    There are Nativity scenes of all shapes and sizes. Some people put up extravagant ones, with cascades, rivers, lakes where ducks swim, shepherds and their flocks of sheep, and many other characters who attend to offer gifts to Baby Jesus. These gifts often include pots, hens, vegetables, and fruits.

    Some of these Nativity scenes are mobile, where the figures are moved around from day to day according to what happens in the biblical events; shepherds are moved, and the “Three Wise Men,” or Tres Reyes Magos, draw near the manger as the Epiphany draws near.

    5. Must-know Vocab for Candelario in Mexico

    Finally, once Candlemas arrives, these Nativity scenes are taken down to make way for the Candlemas celebrations!

    Candlemas Day

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know to celebrate Mexican Candlemas Day to its fullest! Be sure to study these in order to improve your Spanish vocabulary and pronunciation.

    • febrero — “February”
    • bebé — “baby”
    • madre — “mother”
    • vela — “candle”
    • iglesia — “church”
    • atole — “atole” (a drink served in Mexico, usually served hot or warm, with a corn base)
    • Virgen María — “Virgin Mary”
    • tamal — “tamal”
    • fiesta — “party”
    • Candelaria — “Candlemas”
    • rosca — “rosca” (a type of bread shaped like a wreath, with a baby figurine inside of it and candied fruit on top)

    To hear the pronunciation of each word as well, be sure to check out our Spanish Candlemas vocabulary list. Each word is accompanied by an audio file with the word’s pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    You’ve learned a lot about how Mexicans celebrate Dia de la Candelaria, particularly the significance of the Nativity scene and the blessing of the Baby Jesus figurine.

    Do you celebrate Candlemas in your home country, or a holiday like it? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn more about Mexican holidays and traditions, and its culture in general, visit us at SpanishPod101.com. We offer an array of vocabulary lists and blog posts, and we even host an online community where you can discuss topics you’re learning with fellow students. And if you want a more one-on-one approach to your learning, you can download our MyTeacher app!

    Make your account today and start learning Spanish efficiently and with a flair of fun!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in Spanish

    How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in Spanish!

    Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

    However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

    Table of Contents

    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
    2. Spanish Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
    4. How Can SpanishPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?
    5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in Spanish - Testing New Technology

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Master A Language!

    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

    Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in Spanish? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million Spanish words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

    1. funny - gracioso
    2. joke - broma
    3. lie - mentir
    4. surprise - sorpresa
    5. prankster - bromista
    6. prank - broma
    7. humor - humor
    8. fool - tonto
    9. deceptive - engañosa
    10. April 1st - Primero de Abril
    11. play a joke - jugar una broma
    12. sneaky - a escondidas

    2. Spanish Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

    Spanish Phrases for April Fools' Day

    Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in Spanish to prank your favorite Spanish speaking friend or colleague!

    1. All classes for today got canceled.
      • Todas las clases de hoy fueron canceladas.
    2. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
      • Lo siento, pero acabo de romper tus lentes favoritos.
    3. Someone has just hit your car.
      • Alguien acaba de pegarle a tu carro.
    4. I’m getting married.
      • Me voy a casar.
    5. You won a free ticket.
      • Te ganaste un boleto gratis.
    6. I saw your car being towed.
      • Vi que remolcaron tu carro.
    7. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
      • Están dando tarjetas de regalo gratis en frente del edificio.
    8. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
      • Un chico guapo está esperandote afuera.
    9. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
      • Una hermosa dama me pidió que te diera este número de teléfono.
    10. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
      • ¿Puedes venir abajo? Tengo algo especial para ti.
    11. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
      • Gracias por tu carta de amor de esta mañana. Nunca podría haber adivinado tus sentimientos.

    Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

    Choose Bad or Good

    Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in Spanish, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

    Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

    Cockroach prank

    1- Infestation

    This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

    2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

    Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

    3- Something Weird in the Restroom

    At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

    Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

    Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

    Funny Face

    4- Call Me Funny

    Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - 123-456-7890 - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

    5- Minty Cookies

    This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

    6- Wild Shopping

    At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

    7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

    Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

    8- Sneeze On Me

    Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

    9- Word Play Repairs

    Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

    10- Scary Face

    Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

    11- Wake Up To Madness

    Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

    Computer Prank

    12- Computer Prank

    This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

    Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

    13- Monster Under the Cup

    This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

    Door Prank

    14- Prank Door

    Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

    4. How Can SpanishPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

    If you happen to visit Spanish speaking countries like Spain and Mexico, or if you work for any Spanish speaking company, knowing the above Spanish prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core Spanish words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Master A Language!

    Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in Spanish - bone up your Spanish language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, SpanishPod101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

    Now, as a bonus, test our super-learning technology, and learn the Top 1000 most useful phrases in Spanish below! But that’s not all. Read on to learn how you can be eligible for large enrollment discounts at SpanishPod101.

    5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in Spanish - testing new technology

    Help us by being a language guinea pig! Listen to this video above with embedded cutting-edge, frequency-based learning technology that enables you to learn large amounts of data in record time.

    • Note: This technology is in beta-phase of development, and we invite your input for fine-tuning.
    • To participate: Watch the video for instructions, and leave a comment to rate it. Your comment will make you eligible for large enrollment-fee discounts. To watch the video, please click the play button.

    Thank you for helping SpanishPod101! We’re serious about making learning Spanish fun.

    How to Say Happy New Year in Spanish & New Year Wishes

    Learn all the Spanish New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join SpanishPod101 for a special Spanish New Year celebration!

    How to Say Happy New Year in Spanish

    Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

    So, how do you say Happy New Year in Spanish? Let a native teach you! At SpanishPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Spanish New Year wishes!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Master A Language!

    Table of Contents

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in Spain
    2. Must-Know Spanish Words & Phrases for the New Year!
    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Spanish
    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
    7. How SpanishPod101 Can Help You Learn Spanish

    But let’s start with some vocabulary for Spanish New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

    1. How to Celebrate New Year in Spain

    Let’s talk about a day full of excitement, wishes, and resolutions for the Spanish people. It is called “Noche Vieja” (”New Year’s Eve“), and it is the last night of the year, the one that marks the beginning of a new year. This holiday does not stop until the next day, January 1.

    Do you know why there is a tradition of eating grapes on New Year’s Eve? Keep reading and you will find out at the end!

    Before midnight, it is common to have a big dinner, similar to Christmas, with all the family. On the television, all programs show New Year’s specials. The best comedians and most famous celebrities participate in these specials. Musical concerts are also common, from current and in-vogue singers, to those known by grandparents, parents and children.

    As 12 o’clock approaches, you can feel the excitement. The bowls are prepared, and it’s confirmed that each contains twelve grapes. The most traditional place to eat grapes is La Puerta del Sol in Madrid. But nowadays, it is done in all cities, and it’s also common to eat them at home, in front of the television. You hear the bells chime every year. And…ton, ton! It’s finally time to eat the first grape, the second…but be careful! Every year, there are cases of choking.

    Once the New Year starts, it’s normal to congratulate, hug and toast with all the family. In those toasts, it is normal to put a gold ring into a glass to attract money. From this moment on, the phone lines will be overloaded and everybody will send and receive congratulatory messages and phone calls from friends and family members. After that, it is common to go out into the street, or to a pub or nightclub. And then it’s time to celebrate until you can no longer stand!

    It is normal on this day to wear new clothes for the first time, but not only that! It is also tradition to wear a new set of underwear for New Year’s Eve. Normally, it will be yellow in color if you want to attract money, or, more often, red, if you want to attract love.

    And now, the answer to the earlier quiz.

    Do you know why there is a tradition of eating grapes on New Year’s Eve?

    It seems this tradition doesn’t have any religious or cultural motivations; it is actually economical. On New Year’s Eve of 1909, the grape harvesters had had a big harvest of grapes, and because of this, they invented the tradition of eating the lucky grapes on the last night of the year.

    Happy New Year!
    ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

    2. Must-Know Spanish Words & Phrases for the New Year!

    Spanish Words & Phrases for the New Year

    1- Year

    Año

    This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Spain could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

    2- Midnight

    Medianoche

    The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

    3- New Year’s Day

    Día de Año Nuevo

    In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

    You can do it!

    4- Party

    Fiesta

    A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

    5- Dancing

    Baile

    Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

    6- Champagne

    Champán

    Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

    7- Fireworks

    Fuegos Artificiales

    These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

    8- Countdown

    Cuenta Regresiva

    This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

    9- New Year’s Holiday

    Vacaciones de Año Nuevo

    In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

    10- Confetti

    Confeti

    In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

    11- New Year’s Eve

    Noche Vieja

    This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

    12- Toast

    Brindis

    A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

    13- Resolution

    Propósitos de Año Nuevo

    Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

    14- Parade

    Desfile

    New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At SpanishPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Spanish New Year celebrations are like!

    3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

    So, you learned the Spanish word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at SpanishPod101 - what are yours?

    Learn these phrases and impress your Spanish friends with your vocabulary.

    New Year's Resolutions

    1- Read more

    Leer más.

    Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Spanish in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Spanish language skills!

    2- Spend more time with family

    Pasar más tiempo en familia.

    Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

    3- Lose weight

    Bajar de peso.

    Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

    4- Save money

    Ahorrar dinero.

    Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to SpanishPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

    5- Quit smoking

    Dejar de fumar.

    This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

    6- Learn something new

    Aprender algo nuevo.

    Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

    7- Drink less

    Beber menos.

    This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

    8- Exercise regularly

    Ejercitarse regularmente.

    This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

    9- Eat healthy

    Comer saludable.

    If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

    10- Study Spanish with SpanishPod101

    Estudiar Español con SpanishPod101.com

    Of course! You can only benefit from learning Spanish, especially with us! Learning how to speak Spanish can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. SpanishPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

    4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

    Inspirational Quotes

    Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

    Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Spanish new year greeting!

    Make decorative notes of these in Spanish, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Spanish incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

    5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

    Language Learning Quotes

    Still undecided whether you should enroll with SpanishPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

    Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

    As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Spanish could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Spanish - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

    6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

    Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Spanish - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

    7. Why Enrolling with SpanishPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

    If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Spanish! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that SpanishPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

    Learning Paths

    • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Spanish at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
    • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Spanish that makes sense!
    • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
    • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
    • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Master A Language!

    There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Spanish with SpanishPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

    How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish

    How to Say Merry Christmas in Spanish

    Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish? SpanishPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Spanish Christmas phrases!

    Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Spanish speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, SpanishPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish!

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Start Learning A Language!

    Table of Contents

    1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Mexico
    2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
    3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
    4. Twelve Days of Christmas
    5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
    6. How SpanishPod101 Can Help You

    1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Mexico

    Christmas Words in Spanish

    One of the most special days for Mexican families is Christmas or “Navidad”. As most of you probably already know, this is the holiday held in celebration of the birth of Jesus. During the Christmas season, all the streets in Mexico become filled with light and decorations. Like the streets, the houses also undergo a complete transformation, and the whole family usually helps in the process.

    People in Mexico, like much of the rest of the Christian world decorate a Christmas tree, or in Spanish, “árbol de Navidad”, and place a present for each family member under it. They also typically put up a nativity scene, depicting Jesus’s birth.

    Houses are cleaned until they are spotless and ready to receive all the family members, including some they maybe haven’t met up with all year. Families come together to prepare food and enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner, or “cena de Navidad”. During December 24, all families are busy cooking up a storm, the result of which they will eat over the course of the following two to three days. The most typical dishes are “romeros” (rosemary with mole sauce and pork), “bacalao” (salted fish cooked with vegetables and spices), “pierna” (marinated pork baked in the oven), and shrimp soup.

    Dinner is often served at 12am, then the presents are opened one by one and shown to the rest of the family, and there is also joking, drinking and enjoying the time spent together as a family.

    2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

    Holiday Greetings and Wishes

    1- Merry Christmas!

    ¡Feliz Navidad!

    Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

    2- Happy Kwanzaa!

    ¡Feliz Kwanzaa!

    Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

    3- Have a happy New Year!

    ¡Que tengas un feliz año nuevo!

    In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

    4- Happy Hanukkah!

    ¡Feliz Hanukkah!

    Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

    5- Have a great winter vacation!

    Que tengas unas vacaciones invernales fantásticas

    This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

    6- See you next year!

    ¡Nos vemos el próximo año!

    Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

    7- Warm wishes!

    ¡Mis mejores deseos!

    An informal, friendly phrase to write in Spanish Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

    8- Happy holidays!

    ¡Felices vacaciones!

    If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Spanish, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

    9- Enjoy the holidays!

    ¡Disfruta las vacaciones!

    After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

    10- Best wishes for the New Year!

    ¡Mis mejores deseos para el año nuevo!

    This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

    3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

    Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Spanish! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At SpanishPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

    1- Christmas

    Navidad

    This is the Spanish word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Spanish will include this word!

    2- Snow

    Nieve

    In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

    3- Snowflake

    copo de nieve

    Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

    4- Snowman

    hombre de nieve

    As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

    5- Turkey

    pavo

    Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

    6- Wreath

    ramo de Navidad

    Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

    7- Reindeer

    reno

    Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

    8- Santa Claus

    Papá Noel

    Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

    9- Elf

    elfo

    An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

    10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Rodolfo el reno de nariz roja

    ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

    11- North Pole

    Polo Norte

    The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

    12- Sled

    trineo

    A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

    13- Present

    regalo

    Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

    14- Bell

    campana

    On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

    15- Chimney

    chimenea

    The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

    16- Fireplace

    chimenea

    In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

    17- Christmas Day

    Día de Navidad

    This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

    18- Decoration

    decoración

    Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

    19- Stocking

    calcetín de Navidad

    According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

    20- Holly

    acebo

    Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

    21- Gingerbread house

    pan de jengibre

    According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

    22- Candy cane

    bastón de caramelo

    According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

    23- Mistletoe

    muérdago

    Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

    4. Twelve Days of Christmas

    Twelve Days of Christmas

    Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Spanish, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

    The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

    ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

    5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

    Top 10 Christmas Characters

    This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Spanish! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

    6. SpanishPod101 Is One Of The Best Online Language Schools Available!

    Visit SpanishPod101!

    We don’t just say this - we can prove it! Geared to your personal needs and goals, we have several learning paths from which to choose. From Spanish for Absolute Beginners to Advanced Spanish, lessons are designed to meet you where you are, and increase your language abilities in fun, easy and interactive lessons! Mastering a new language has never been this easy or enjoyable.

    We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, SpanishPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Spanish. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

    So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in SpanishPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!

    How to Start Thinking in Spanish

    Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in Spanish

    Going through Spanish lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of Spanish, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in Spanish. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

    We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between Spanish and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the Spanish vocabulary word and the tangible object.

    start thinking in Spanish

    In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through SpanishPod101.com.

    Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Spanish Language from the Beginning!

    1. Surround yourself with Spanish

    Surround Yourself

    By surrounding yourself with Spanish constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a Spanish radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

    One great feature of SpanishPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

    2. Learn through observation
    learn through observation

    Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then Spanish words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in Spanish.

    SpanishPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach Spanish.

    3. Speak out loud to yourself
    talk to yourself

    Speaking to yourself in Spanish not only gets you in the mindset of Spanish, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

    With SpanishPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native Spanish speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

    4. Practice daily

    If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

    It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but SpanishPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with SpanishPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

    Conclusion

    Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that SpanishPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

    Learn Spanish With SpanishPod101 Today!

    Have you heard about Nacimiento (The Nativity Scene)?

    Have you heard about Nacimiento (The Nativity Scene)?

    Nativity scenes are very traditional Christmas decorations depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.
    It is set up before Christmas, traditionally on December 8th, according to the celebration of the Conception and stays up until February 2nd, the day of Candlemas.

    El nacimiento es una decoración importante durante las fiestas de invierno.

    The nativity scene is an important decoration during winter holidays.

    P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
    The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

    Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.

    ¿Hablas inglés? Do you know how to answer this question?

    ¿Hablas inglés? Do you know how to answer this question?

    Here’s how to ask if someone speaks English:

    ¿Hablas inglés? Do you speak English?

    Here are some ways to answer this question:

    • Sí, hablo inglés. Yes, I speak English.
    • No, no hablo inglés. No, I don’t speak English.

    Do you speak English?

    Click here and learn more!

    P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
    The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

    Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.

    A piñata is a container made of pottery or paper. - Mexican Culture

    piñata

    A piñata is a decorated container that sometimes holds candy or small presents. They are mainly used at birthday parties, but are also common during other celebrations. People take turns trying to break the piñata with a stick. Once it’s been broken, the candy and small presents fall out for people to collect.

    Celebramos los cumpleaños con una piñata. We celebrate birthdays with a piñata.

    P.S. Get Your Daily Dose of Spanish with 1-Minute Mini-Lessons
    The Daily Dose of Spanish is a Calendar that gives you new, 1-minute lessons every day. Why? Because learning a little every day is easy, strengthens your habits and motivation and you improve your Spanish over time. Lessons range from culture and holidays to grammar, slang, phrases and more. Find it in the Spanish Resources menu or in the Quick Links menu on your Dashboard.

    Click here to check out the Daily Dose of Spanish Calendar.