Hi! As you already know, I am doing my PhD in Natac which is located in Madrid, Spain. I came to Madrid two years ago in November. Wow, I can’t belive two years have passed! Time definitely flies by! Having come in November, I soon got to experience the festive period of the year the Spanish people call Navidad, or Christmas. During this time, especially during the month of December, the city is extremely alive and full of spirit. Christmas trees, ornaments and Christmas markets decorate the whole city. You can see people flooding the streets at all times and everything is crowded… the stores, the bars, the restaurants, the parks.. People are buying presents for their loved ones, friends are gathering, companies are organizing Christmas dinners, tourists come from all over Spain and all over the world.. all this while the weather is nice for winter.. around 10 degrees with a sunny blue sky. There is just a special feeling in the air that is transmitted to everyone.. the feeling of joy and festivity!

All this wonder-full-ness lasts until Christmas Eve. Then everything becomes empty until New Years. Exept for the tourists which are present 365 days a year. In the Spanish culture Christmas and New Years’ is the time of the year that you spend with your family. Christmas Eve, Christmas day and everything in between until the 5th of January (Reyes) is simply family time. I guess this is true for every culture, but comparing the Spanish to the Macedonian culture a bit less so for us. In my country, the family gathers for a Christmas Eve dinner and we spend Christmas day toghether, but the arrival of the New Year is something you celebrate with friends. Many, many firends when you are younger and less when you grow older but still, with friends. That being said, I have learned my lesson and this year I will be spending Christmas and New Years’ home with my family and my friends! Happy holidays everyone!