Vocabulary - The Holidays!
Learn the Spanish words for Christmas and other holidays in this vocabulary quiz.

Vocabulary - The Holidays!

This Spanish Easy Review vocabulary quiz will challenge you on names of holidays. Who doesn’t love the holidays? That’s almost like asking who doesn’t love chocolate? Luckily, most people would beam brightly, especially for holidays filled with chocolate! In this quiz you will learn and/or review several holidays. Many countries celebrate many different types of holidays so not all holidays are included here. However, this quiz does focus on several of the more commonly known holidays. As you will see, there are a few holidays that are spelled the same in English and in Spanish although their pronunciation may be a bit different. Also notice the order of words.

In English we would say Mother’s Day but in Spanish it is said as, day of the mother. In some cases it is appropriate to say 'the day of' so be sure to check out which days require the definite article 'the' before them.

Now let’s take a look at those holidays!

English Spanish Pronounced (Phonetically) As
New Year’s Eve nochevieja nō-chāy-vē-ā-hă (Notice that the 'j' has an 'h' sound.) (Celebrated December 31st)
New Year’s Day el día de año nuevo el dē-ă dāy ă-nnō new-ā-vō (Celebrated January 1st)
Martin Luther King Día de Martin Luther King Dē-ă dāy Martin Luther King (Celebrated in January)
Valentine’s Day Día de San Valentín Dē-ă dāy Săn Văl-ā-tēēn (Celebrated February 14th)
St. Patrick’s Day Día de San Patricio Dē-ă dāy Săn Pă-trē-shē-ō (Celebrated March 17th)
Palm Sunday Domingo de Ramos Dō-ming-ō dāy Ră-mōs (Celebrated the week before Easter)
Good Friday Viernes Santo Vē-air-nĕss Săn-tō (Celebrated the Friday before Easter)
Easter Pascua Pă-skwă (Celebrated in March or April)
Mother’s Day Día de la Madre Dē-ă dāy Mă-drāy (Celebrated in May)
Father’s Day Día del Padre Dē-ă děl Pă-drāy (Celebrated in June)
Independence Day Día de la Independencia Dē-ă dāy la Ēn-dā-pĕn-dĕn-sē-ă (Celebrated July 4th in the U.S.)
Labor Day (U.S.) Día del trabajo Dē-ă dāy del tră-bă-hō (Notice that the 'j' has an 'h' sound.) (Celebrated first Monday in September)
Rosh Hashana (Jewish) Rosh Hashana (Celebrated in September)
Yom Kippur (Jewish) Yom Kippur (Celebrated in October)
Columbus Day (U.S.) el Día de la Raza el dē-ă dāy la Ră-ză (Celebrated October 12th)
Halloween Halloween Hăl-lō-wĕn (Celebrated October 31st)
Hanukkah (Jewish) Hanukkah (Celebrated in December)
Christmas Day día de Navidad dē-ă dāy Nă-vē-dărd (Celebrated on December 25th)

Be sure to study each holiday in Spanish and then when you are ready move forward to the quiz. Ten holidays are listed in either English or Spanish and below them are four possible answers of how that holiday is translated. See if you can locate the correct holiday translation without looking back at the introduction.

Independence Day
Día la Independencia
Día de la Independencia
Independencia Día
Dia de la Independencia
In Spanish the word day comes before the type of day which is the opposite order found in English and it is spoken as day of. The third answer shows how the day would be said in English so it is not correct. The first answer has forgotten 'of' or, in Spanish, 'de' so it is not correct. The second and last answers look alike except that the last answer shows no accent mark about the 'i' in día. This is, therefore, a wrong spelling and not the correct answer.
Christmas Day
día de Navidad
dia de Navidad
Navidad de día
La Navidad de el día
In Spanish the word day comes before the type of day. This tells you that the third and last answers are not correct as the word day comes last. The second answer has mistakenly dropped the accent mark in día so it, too, is not correct.
Pascua día
día de Pascua
día de la Pascua
Easter is more commonly referred to as simply Easter and not Easter Day. Therefore, it is more commonly shown as Pascua in Spanish. This then tells you that the first, second and last answers are not showing the correct Spanish translation.
New Year's Eve
nuevo año noche
nuevo año de noche
noche de nuevo año
In Spanish, New Year’s Eve is one of the few holidays that has one word to describe it. This tells you that the first, second and third answers cannot be correct as they have multiple words. The last answer shows one word and nochevieja is New Year’s Eve in Spanish.
Valentine's Day
Dia de San Valentín
Día de San Valentin
Día de San Valentín
Dia de San Valentin
In this case each of the four answers looks exactly the same. There is, however, a difference. The first answer is missing an accent mark in día. The second answer is missing an accent mark in Valentín. The last answer has no accent marks at all. Both words, día and Valentín have accent marks. Without the accent marks, the words have been spelled incorrectly.
Father's Day
Día de la Madre
Día del Padre
Día del Papá
Día del Abuelo
In Spanish the word day comes before the type of day. Each answer here shows this correctly. However, the first answer says Mother’s Day, the third answer says Daddy’s Day and the last answer says Grandfather's Day.
Columbus Day
el Día de la Raza
Día de Columbo
Dia de Columbus
Dia de la Raza
There are several holidays that do not have an official or literal Spanish translation. Columbus Day is one of them. Rather than saying day of Columbus or the day of Columbus, Spanish says the day of the race. It is a holiday that will have to be memorized because of this. The answer that reads the day of the race is the first answer.
Labor Day
Dia del trabajo
Día del trabaho
Día trabajo
Día del trabajo
Labor Day would translate to Spanish as Day of the Labor. The Spanish word for labor is trabajo and it is a masculine noun. To say 'the labor' you would say el trabajo. However, when the word 'of' appears before a masculine definite article, the two words are combined to make one word, i.e. del. Otherwise it would appear as 'de el' which is not grammatically correct. The first answer here has a missing accent mark on día making it incorrect. The second answer has misspelled trabajo. The third answer is missing 'of the'.
Viernes Santo
Ash Wednesday
Saint Vincent
Good Friday
Santa Claus
Viernes in Spanish means Friday. This then tells you that the third answer is the correct answer and it reads Good Friday.
Domingo de Ramos
Sunday of Ramos
Palm Sunday
Red Sunday
Summer Solstice
The Spanish word domingo means Sunday. This means that you can eliminate the last answer. The first answer has not completed the translation for Ramos so it is not correct. The Spanish word for red is rojo and the Spanish word for palm is often translated as branch or ramos. This then shows you that the correct translation is the second answer, Palm Sunday.
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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