25 Nov 2020
December 2020. Gastronomy and traditions for a different celebration.
TRADITIONS THAT ARE CELEBRATED VERY DIFFERENTLY FROM ONE TERRITORY TO ANOTHER, ARE ADAPTED TO THE PROTOCOLS AND HEALTH MEASURES REQUIRED.
When these dates, so important in our agendas, arrive, in which everything is present, abundant meals also arrive with force. Christmas sweets appear on the scene, such as polvorones and the traditional donut, or, contrary to our custom of eating seafood and fish, banquets of rich and tasty roast meat are imposed. But, above all, these days of meeting arrive, emotional and special days in which to share moments and instants enjoying with our closest ones, even though this year the family meetings will have to be different and in a smaller format due to the current restrictions.
These dates become a reference and only, depending on who is our interlocutor and where we are, we will understand Christmas in one way or another. In any corner of the world, even the smallest, millions of people celebrate these holidays marked by tradition and religious beliefs that, over time, have filled each country with its own rites, music, preparations and customs. A very open view of the meaning of these celebrations that allow us, above all, to experience magical moments, full of happiness, although with the current situation of restrictions caused by the Covid19 , everything will be very different. The new de-scaling policies provide for family gatherings of a maximum of 10 people and few activities or mass celebrations due to the restrictions on seating in common spaces which require social distance to be maintained, and the night-time curfew will probably remain in force, although the timetable may be readjusted.
History and festive tradition.
Thanks to the diversity of cultures, you can enjoy different traditions. Although in each country or region the main ingredients of all these festivals are common and the general feeling of esteem, brotherhood and solidarity prevails, there are some notable differences that make the Christmas celebrations in each territory still unique. Traditionally, the Christmas celebration is not a party that is celebrated equally in all the countries of the world. The main differences are found in the origin of their religion. Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists disagree on how to venerate the prophet who gives his life to each of his celebrations. Judaism does not celebrate Christmas, but its typical festival is Hanukkah, or Festival of Lights, which takes place on December 1st. Muslims celebrate two festivals: Eid al-Fitr, a festival immediately after the end of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha, a festival of sacrifice during the pilgrimage to Mecca, a city that all Muslims must visit at least once a year. Buddhism does not lead to major celebrations in this month, as its calendar sets the new year at the end of February. The celebrations of this religion are based, basically, on aspects of religious practice and family harmony, rather than on large areas. Finally, for their band, the Hindus celebrate the Diwali, a Christmas meal held in advance of November. During this festival, one of the main celebrations of the Indian calendar, is to start the new year with a party in which dolls are given as gifts between relatives and friends, and in which the triumph of the Lord Ram over the Devil Ravana is commemorated.
Before the Christmas days, there are different fairs and popular events. Cities all over the world vibrate with the different proposals that are presented, whether they are cultural, commercial or traditional. Some of them are carried out with the aim of helping both in the decoration and in the preparation of the Christmas holidays. You can find a wide range of cultural, recreational or decorative objects to set the mood for these dates.
The traditional Fira de la Purissima in Sant Boi de Llobregat, the Fira de Santa Llúcia in Barcelona, the Fira de l’Avet in Estinelves, the Fira de Nadal Nadal in the Port Vell of Barcelona (in this edition moved to Moll de la Fusta), the Cursa dels Nassos in Catalonia or the traditional Carrera de San Silvestre in Madrid, including the expected New Year’s Eve bells or the Cavalcade of the Three Kings, could be cancelled or suffer significant changes in both the range of activities and the presence of the public. The information on each of the official websites is updated, as as the weeks go by, health safety protocols and complementary measures are adjusted, which require constant monitoring of the information from the official bodies of each community and each country in order to know how to proceed.
Other popular festivals such as the Festa del Pi which has been held every 30th December, in Centelles, and which has been documented since 1751, has already officially announced its cancellation. Linked to the local patron saint, Santa Coloma, this festival deserved the title of Traditional Festival of National Interest granted in 1987 and subsequently reclassified as Heritage Festival of National Interest in 2010.
In the 2020 edition of the Christmas celebrations, the tradition will be significantly changed. In the family context, restrictions on mobility between territories and health security measures will mean that not all family members will be able to join in the traditional lunches/dinners each year. Nor will there be facilities for family gatherings in any hotel or restaurant establishment as they may be closed or capacity limitations will require adjustments to be made to the attendance of guests.
What does not vary, especially in the different family homes, regardless of the number of people who can celebrate, are the menus. The Christmas decoration will continue to be present, and accompanying the particular traditions of each environment, it will be possible to taste the delicious and varied typical Christmas gastronomy. The value of the product with local ingredients are the main components of the menus. In Catalonia, traditional recipes such as Escudella and Carn d’Olla, Pollastre Farcit (stuffed roast chicken) or Cannelloni will continue to triumph within the family. All this is accompanied by nougat, wine and cava. Some of the restaurants have adapted their kitchens to prepare the Christmas menu and bring it to every home in their area of influence, which allows the family to enjoy a complete range of cuisine capable of mixing the country’s most typical traditions with modernity, presenting a new concept in taste that provides a unique experience.