Teach Spanish Months of the Year: November in Spanish
Noviembre or November in Spanish is the 11th and penultimate month of the year in the Gregorian and Julian calendar. November is the last month of the year to have a duration of 30 days.
The name November comes from the Latin word “novem”, which means “nine” because November was the ninth month of the year before January and February were added to the calendar. With time, “Novem” evolved to November in English and into noviembre in Spanish.
November is an important month with several celebrations and important commemorations throughout its duration all around the world. If you are interested in learning about November and what happens during this month in Spain and Latin America, this blog post is for you.
Let’s get to it!
Astronomical Phenomena During November in Spanish
November is known as a month with clear skies, good weather and a lot of astronomical events!
Here is a list of all the meteor showers you can watch in November from Latin America and Spain and how they are called in Spanish:
- Biélidas o Andromédidas — Andromedids: From September 25th to December 6th
- Leónidas— Leonids: November 15th – 20th
- Alfa Menocerótida— Alfa Menocerotids: November 15th – 25th
- Táuridas del Norte — Northern Taurids: From October 20th to December 10th
- Táuridas del Sur — Southern Taurids: From September 10th to November 20th
- Fenicidas — Phoenicids: From November 29th to December 9th
Here are some tips, in English and Spanish to watch these amazing celestial events!
- Para ver varios de estos fenómenos no necesitas equipo ni nada especial.
To watch several of these phenomena you don’t need any equipment or anything special.
- Y para los que si lo necesitas, ¡muchas veces un buen telescopio es suficiente!
And for those you do, sometimes a good telescope is more than enough!
- También necesitas un cielo despejado y mucha paciencia.
You also need a clear sky and a lot of patience.
Para maximizar tu experiencia sigue los siguientes consejos:
To maximize your experience, follow this tips:
- Encuentra un lugar retirado para que sea tu lugar de observación, lejos de la luz de la ciudad.
Find a secluded place for your viewing spot, away from the city lights.
- Vístete apropiadamente para el clima y asegúrate de estar cómodo, puedes llevar una silla o una manta para sentarte y esperar.
Dress appropriately for the weather and make sure to be comfortable, you can take a chair or a blanket to sit and wait.
- Una vez ubicado en tu lugar, acuéstate y espera. Para ubicar con mejor facilidad donde será la lluvia de estrellas, puedes usar un mapa estelar.
Once you find your ideal spot, you just have to lay down and wait. To find more easily the position of the meteor shower, you can use a star map, like this one here.
Celebrations and Events During November in Spanish
November is a busy month, being almost the last one of the year! And all around the world, during November there are several celebrations, commemorations, and events. In this blog post, you will find some of the most important celebrations and commemorations in Latin America and Spain during this month, so you can mention them when talking about November in Spanish.
Día de Todos los Santos
Known as All Saints’ Day, this celebration is one of the most important during November in Latin America and Spain, especially in Mexico.
El Día de Todos los Santos is a celebration that takes place on November 1st, just after Halloween. It is a celebration that has religious roots and honors all the Saints, known and unknown, and those who are not celebrated individually because of how many people were proclaimed Saints after suffering martyrdom.
In Latin America and Spain, the saints are considered all those people that have died through the years, so the celebration is also known as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Families use this date to honor their deceased family members and friends through different traditions.
El día de los Muertos also has a relation with ancestral indigenous rituals that were merged with Christian beliefs after the conquest. This is called religious syncretism.
Here are some examples of how this date is celebrated through all Hispanoamerica:
In Spain, el Día de todos los Santos is celebrated in different ways. The most known tradition is going to the cemeteries to leave flowers on the tombs of your loved ones that aren’t here anymore.
In the Canary Islands, people celebrate by getting together with family and friends. Nowadays it is common to have a bonfire in the middle of the street and music for people to spend time together while remembering their loved ones. In Catalonia, it is known as La Fiesta de la Castanyada (Chestnut feast) because people eat a lot of chestnuts and dulces de mazapan (marzipan). And in Madrid, this festivity has been slowly changed for Halloween, but a lot of people still get together on November 1st to remember their loved ones and share food like Los buñuelos de viento (wind fritters) and some marzipan candies called huesos de santo (saint bones).
In Ecuador, people celebrate this day by preparing and eating a particular cake or cookie called guaguas (kids) and drink a beverage called colada morada, which is prepared from purple corn flour and fruits.
Bolivian families like to celebrate the Day of the Dead by preparing an altar known as apxata. It contains candles, flowers, candies, fruits, and a curious kind of bread called tantawawa. The tantawawa is bread with a human figure that represents the dead.
n Guatemala, El Día de los Muertos is celebrated eating a dish called Fiambre, which is prepared with cold meats, vegetables, and has a particular purple color due to the curtido (seasoned juice) that is made with beets. Some families get together to eat it, and some others, in little towns around the country bring the fiambre to the cemeteries. They leave the fiambre there so the spirits of their loved ones can eat it. Others like to eat inside the cemeteries, so it is like they share a meal with their dead loved ones.
In a little town called Sumpango in Sacatepequez, people create giant kites. In the past, these kites were flown around. But now, they are just built and exhibited for tourists to see and take pictures of.
When you talk about others about November in Spanish, you can’t avoid talking about el Día de Todos los Santos, so here is a little vocabulary:
|Día de todos los Santos||All Hallows Day/ All Saint’s Day|
|Día de los Muertos||Day of the Dead|
|Los seres queridos||Loved ones|
|Pan de Muerto||Dead’s bread|
|Las calaveritas de dulce||Candy skulls|
|Juntarse con la familia||Get together with the family|
|El curtido||Seasoned Juice|
|Las carnes frias||Cold meats|
Día de Acción de Gracias
This celebration is known as Thanksgiving Day in English and is a popular celebration in the northern countries of the American Continent, especially in the United States. But lately, it has become more and more popular in Latin America and Spain.
The most important part of this celebration in Latin America and Spain is the act of “giving thanks”, which a lot of people take as a way to show those you love that you appreciate what they do. Others like to thank God, the Universe, or whatever deity they believe in, for the opportunities encountered through the year.
Even if it is not traditional in Central and South America, more and more Spanish-speaking people celebrate this day inside and outside the United States with their friends and family. Some people cook the usual turkey, and others prefer to give a more personalized touches, with things like tamales or caldos (broths).
You can’t talk about Thanksgiving without talking about Black Friday, and it has become as popular, or even more, as Thanksgiving in Latin America. Big and small businesses use the date to increase their profit with sales and discounts, and even if it is not as massive as it may be in the United States, thousands of people buy things during that weekend.
In some places, “Black Friday” has become a whole month thing, with sales each weekend or even every day.
Here is a vocabulary to talk about Thanksgiving during November in Spanish:
|Día de Acción de Gracias||Thanksgiving Day|
|Los nativos americanos||Native Americans|
|El pie de calabaza||Pumpkin pie|
|La salsa de arándanos||Cranberry sauce|
|El pan de maíz||Cornbread|
|El muslo de pollo||Drumstick|
|La salsa gravy||Gravy|
|Batata/ Camote||Sweet potato|
|Ser agradecido||Be thankful|
Día del Hombre
International Men’s Day is commemorated annually on November 19th since 2009. This day is used to recognize and celebrate the boys’ and men’s achievements and contributions to the nation, union, society, community, family, marriage, and childcare. All the objectives of this celebration can be found on the “All the Six Pillars of International Men’s Day”.
The ultimate goal of this commemoration is to promote basic humanitarian values and awareness towards men’s issues, like their mental and physical health, toxic masculinity, and new ways to express masculinity.
Activities To Do During November
As you can see, November is a busy month! So what can you do during November or learn about November in Spanish? Here are some ideas to do alone, with kids, with friends, and with your family!
1. Calaveritas Literarias
The calaveritas literarias (literary little skulls) are little poems or rhymes that people compose near el Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) as a game to spend time. Here are two easy examples to learn:
Jugando en el Carrusel -Playing on the Carousel
By: Sarita Moedano
Itzel jugando en el carrusel
Se le aparece la catrina
que le invita una mandarina
la muy pícara coscolina.
Itzel playing in the carousel
The Catrina appears to her
She invites her to a tangerine
Too naughty and flirty.
Calaverita Escolar para el niño Tadeo- School “calaverita” for young Tadeo
By: Sara Lopez
En la escuela está Tadeo
sonriendo llegó la calaca
a ponerle su sombrero
y pedirle que pinte a la flaca.
Tadeo is in the school
Smiling came the skull
To put her hat on him
And ask him to paint Death.
2. Calaveritas de Chocolate
Maybe poems and literature are not your thing, but chocolate is! Here is a really easy recipe to make your own chocolate skulls and decorate them.
Ingredientes — Ingredients
- 500g de Chocolate — 500g of chocolate
- Moldes de Calaverita— Little skulls molds
- 2 claras de huevo— 2 egg whites
- 4 tazas de azúcar glass— 4 cups of sugar glass
- Colorante vegetal de diferentes tonos— Diferent colors of food coloring
- Duyas— pastry bags
Instrucciones — Instructions
- Derrite el chocolate a baño María.
Melt the chocolate in a water bath.
- Una vez derretido el chocolate, llena los moldes de calavera con el chocolate y deja que se enfríe. Puedes llevarlos al refrigerador para acelerar el proceso.
Once the chocolate is melted, fill the skull molds with chocolate and let them cool. You can take them to the refrigerator to speed up the process.
- En un recipiente aparte bate las claras de huevo, agrega el azúcar glas y mezcla hasta formar una masa.
In a different bowl, beat the egg whites, add the sugar glass, and mix until form a paste.
- Una vez hecha la mezcla, divide en dos o tres tazones y a cada uno agrégale de 2 -3 gotas de colorante. Haz lo mismo con cada color.
Once the mix is ready, divide it into two or three different recipients and add 2-3 drops of food coloring. Do the same with each color
- Pon las mezclas de colores en duyas diferentes.
Put the different colored mixes in different pastry bags.
- Por último, desmolda las calaveras con cuidado y decora como más te guste.
Lastly, unmold the skulls carefully and decorate them as you want.
- Deja secar la decoración antes de comer.
Let the decoration set and dry off before eating.
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