When we say Spanish phrases to use during the holidays, we mean the wintertime festivities! Though we may not be travelling to Spain this holiday season due to COVID restrictions, we can always use Spanish for well-wishing and seasonal joy. Perhaps you already live in a Spanish-speaking country or want to bust out some Spanish for your holiday video chat meet-up. Either way, let’s put our holiday Spanish vocabulary to work this winter. Here are 30 Spanish phrases to use during the holidays.
Christmas phrases in Spanish
If you take online Spanish lessons you will notice that wintertime includes more than just Christmas. Just as the origin country Spain has a long history of multiple religions, so Spanish-speakers around the world celebrate different holidays this season. As it is the most popular in the Spanish-speaking world, we will start with Christmas phrases.
- Papá Noel/el Viejito Pascuero/San Nicolás – Father Christmas/Santa Claus/St. Nicholas
- la Nochebuena – Christmas Eve
- Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas
- los reyes magos – wise men
- los villancicos – Christmas carols
- el belén/pesebre – nativity scene
- la misa – mass (Catholic)
Hannukah phrases in Spanish
Here are some Spanish phrases common in the Jewish tradition. Judaism is the second most common religion in the Spanish-speaking world. Your classmates, friends, and family will appreciate your efforts to be inclusive of their beliefs during the festive season.
- Feliz Jánuca – Happy Hannukah
- Fiesta de las Luminarias – Festival of Lights
- los Macabeos – the Maccabees
- januquiá/candelabro – menorah/candelabra
- pirinola – dreidel/spinning toy top
- idish – Yiddish language
- ” allí ocurrió un gran milagro” – there occurred a great miracle (letters on the dreidel)
After Christianity and Judaism, Islam is the third most popular religion in the Spanish-speaking world. The Islamic calendar doesn’t have holidays in December or January this year, so we will share vocabulary for Islamic holidays later in the year.
New Year’s vocabulary in Spanish
Are you ready to throw some Spanish into your New Year’s celebration conversations too? We covered five fun Spanish idioms for the cold in a previous blog. Here is some more vocabulary in Spanish that will help you survive the winter and bring in the New Year.
- Felices Fiestas/ Feliz Año Nuevo – Happy Holidays/Happy New Year
- las vacaciones – the holidays (time off of work)
- Brindo por… (la familia, los amigos, etc.) – I toast to…(family, friends, etc.)
- Me encantan los adornos/las luces. – I love the decorations/lights.
- ¿Ya es tiempo para los regalos? – Is it time for the presents?
Holiday food and drink in Spanish
We know by now that words and phrases describing food are famous for changing from country to country. We’ve talked a lot about foods before, but around the holidays we tend to party with snacks and drinks more often. Here are some common holiday sweets and drinks seen in most Spanish-speaking countries. Check out this awesome guide to Spanish names for egg nog for more details on each Latin American country’s preference.
- el mazapán – marzipan (almond paste dessert)
- las donas – sufganiyot/donuts (Jewish dessert)
- las uvas – grapes (a Spanish tradition)
- las galletas – cookies
- los frutos secos – nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc.)
- el panettone – Panettone (literally the famous Italian sponge cake)
- el ponche – spiced fruit and/or tea punch (served hot, usually spiked)
- el champán – champagne
- la sidra – cider
- el vino – wine
- rompope (Mexico), coquito/crema (Caribbean) – egg nog
From religious greetings to New Year’s expressions and food, put your language learning into practise this holiday season. Don your holiday pyjamas, fluffy slippers, and learn Spanish at home. We know immersion is the best way to learn Spanish, so try to speak in Spanish a full hour each day this holiday season. Remember to use basic Spanish grammar structure with the phrases above. In 2021 you will be ready to have more fluid, natural conversations in Spanish.
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