Go compare Christmas

When you celebrate Christmas in a different country go compare! That’s what happens when a Catalan spends his Christmas holiday in England.

Go compare!

24th Dec. In both England and Catalonia the birth of Jesus is celebrated at midnight in churches by fewer people every time. I guess that the most important thing is the expectation for waking up the following day to discover the presents delivered by their respective characters.

25th Dec. English families find the presents delivered by Father Christmas under the tree. Turkey, Christmas pudding and mince pies are eaten. Catalan presents are sort of delivered by Tió, a log with face and covered with a blanket. The tradition stems from the use of logs in the fireplace to keep warm. Tió is kept somewhere in the house and fed fruit some days before Christmas, then kids sing him songs and hit him with sticks — like stirring the fire —  and it defecates [I don’t make the traditions] Christmas nougat and rolled wafers and some minor present. Escudella, a thick soup with pasta and meat balls, and chicken or turkey are eaten.

26th Dec. In England, Boxing Day is a bank holiday and, although it was a date for the rich to share with the poor, it’s become the first day of sales. In Catalonia, Sant Esteve is also a bank holiday, however, nothing special is done.

28th Dec. Englishmen feel pity for the undeveloped south European-north African Catalan, who dare celebrate April Fools’ in December under the name of Sants Innocents.

31st Dec. In England — and most of the world — there’s a countdown and the new year is welcomed with impressive fireworks. In Catalonia the home dels nassos or man of the noses walks the streets; kids are encouraged to find the man with as many noses as days left in the year. At midnight Catalan people eat twelve grapes as the bells strike twelve, which are meant to bring good luck.

6th Jan. Since Catalan kids only received minor presents on the 25th, the Three Wise Men from the East deliver the main presents of the season while they sleep so that they’ll find them in the morning.

Go compare!

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