Christmas is an incredibly important feast, it shows the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also a feast of togetherness, being together and saying what you are grateful for in that year. In Spain, they do something different, namely by musical gatherings in which dancing, singing and drinking is performed. These musical gatherings are called Zambombas!
Zambombas are really two things: A very Spanish instrument and a social event, which is inextricably linked and used. Zambomba is undoubtedly part of the Christmas party in Spain.
Zambomba, the instrument
A zambomba is a pot or jar of wood or ceramic over which a sheet (membrane) is stretched, with a stick inserted through it. By turning the stick and moving it up and down, the friction creates a deep and special sound that is reflected through the pot/jar. A little translation into Dutch is that it is called a fetchpot or rommelpot. In Spain it is a typical Christmas instrument. The zambombas are used as a guiding tool by the choirs on the street and at the parties where the villancicos, Christmas songs, are sung.
Zambomba, the party, the social event
Christmas is the social festival par excellence, celebrated in Spain with music and dance, and the most important instrument in this is a zambomba. These parties are given in the weeks prior to their main evening, the Nochebuena, the Christmas Eve. During these festivals, Christmas songs are sung that have changed slightly under the influence of flamenco. For example, they sing in choir De villancicos more in a flamenco manner accompanied by the zambombas, but also tambourines and rhythmically tap the bottles.
Those who do not play a musical instrument dance while they light the candles to show the light of the Christmas party, the birth of Jesus.
Its origins date back to the 18th century when local parties were held in the days before Christmas. With wine, sherry and meat they have already started celebrating Christmas. The people went and still go in a circle around an open fire singing and dancing with friends, neighbors and family members. There are artists and audiences at other parties, but with the zambombas almost everyone plays with an instrument, singing, dancing or clapping hands.
Zambombas in Seville
The choirs that sing the Christmas songs are accompanied by the zambombas and don't listen to the texts of the Christmas songs or the beautiful singing voices, but just listen to the peaceful sound of this special instrument and feel the warm friendship that speaks out.
Perhaps you walk in a neighborhood in Seville to see a Sambomba feast around a heart-warming fire pit. And don't forget; you don't need anything! You just want to join in! Singing doesn't just have to dance and you just want to clap in your hands. Then you feel the twyness and love for each other that grows on its own during a zambomba.
There is only tolerance and friendship between people.