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Christmas in Spain


 

 

The Spanish are well known for celebrating life with their many national and local fiestas and traditions. And that is no different in the final month of the year. December is a wonderful month to spend in Spain. The weather is soft, and it’s quite likely you will still spend some days on the terrace in a t-shirt while getting some colour on your face. It’s the perfect month to escape the UK winter cold.

 

We all know that the Christmas tradition in England is not to compare with any other country in Europe. And of course, because of the beautiful weather you might experience a little less of a "Christmas” feeling while living or visiting Spain during December. However, if you wish to spend Christmas in the sun then the Spanish festivities most certainly won’t disappoint. In the city of Alicante, they have a Christmas market, ice skating and tobogganing from 1st December to 5th January. In Valencia are festive decorations across the city and in the gardens with traditional poinsettias. Street stalls with almonds and roasted chestnuts. A large organized event is Expojove from 26 December to January 4 – lots of fun activities for children.

 

What about Christmas trees? You do not have to worry. Christmas trees are very common in Spanish households and will be sold at all the local garden centers from the beginning of December. Also, the Spanish place intricate, miniature nativity scenes in their homes, called Belénes, which depict life in the village where Jesus was born. The Belén always include the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph as well as the Three Kings, Baltasar, Melchior and Gaspar.

 

Christmas events in Spain

 

8th December – This is the public holiday of Immaculada (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) which marks the beginning of the religious Christmas celebrations. It is celebrated nationwide, however it’s most notable in Seville.

 

21st December – In a few cities including Granada the celebration of Hogueras (bonfires) takes place. This date marks the winter solstice (shortest day) and where it is celebrated involves people jumping through fires to protect themselves against illness. This celebration is less common on the Costa Blanca, but some towns more inland will join the tradition.

 

22nd December – Joining the December lottery in Spain is one of the most common tradition of all. A very large percentage of the population buys tickets for this lottery in the hope of winning the jackpot called "El Gordo”, literally translated to "the fat one”. All over Spain people never stray far from a TV or radio as the lottery is drawn over a period of many hours. Besides the big three prizes there are thousands of smaller prizes shared by people all over Spain.

 

24th December – Christmas Eve is called Nochebuena in Spanish (Goodnight) and it is the most important family gathering of the year. In the evening people often meet early for a few drinks with friends then return home to enjoy a meal with the family. However, in Javea and surrounding ares bars & restaurants will be offering special Christmas menu’s, considering many people also enjoy going out for a meal.

 

25th December – Children may receive a small gift on Nochebuena or this morning. Christmas Day is a national holiday in Spain so shops are closed. Yet it is not a day of great celebration but rather a calm day when people go out for a walk, drop into a bar, etc. Another large family meal at lunchtime is common though it’s becoming more common to see families eating out on the afternoon of Christmas day.

 

28th December – This is the day of Santos Inocentes (Holy Innocents) and is the equivalent of April Fools’ Day.

 

31st December – Noche Vieja, or New Year’s Eve is a big celebration all over the country with street parties and special nights bars, restaurants and nightclubs everywhere. Until midnight people tend to stay at home and on the stroke of midnight it is traditional to eat 12 grapes, one on each stroke of the clock to bring good luck for the new year. The celebration often lasts till the early morning.

 

1st January – A public holiday. A perfect day for a walk on the beach or drink on a sunny terrace.

 

6th January – The Christmas story or Epiphany called the Fiesta de los Reys Mages (The festival of the three magic kings), this day is celebrated when the 3 kings brought presents to baby Jesus. Children in Spain open their presents on Epiphany. They write letters to the kings with what presents they would like and as we leave gifts for Santa Claus and his reindeer, the three kings are left a glass of cognac, a satsuma and walnuts and a bucket of water for the camels. However if children have been naughty, the Kings could leave a piece of coal made from sugar!

 

 

 

Christmas in Javea

 

The Christmas programme for Javea offers various events throughout the town. The streets will be decorated with beautiful lights and of course Christmas trees in the Port, Arenal beach and the old town.

 

5th to 8th December - A weekend of Christmas activities in the Old town and Javea port. A craft and gift fair, food tasting, children’s workshops, treasure hunt, magic games, surprise theatrical performances and live music.

 

14th December – In Javea Port an Artesan Craft fair with hand made goods.

 

15th December – Christmas carol concert in the Old town of Javea.

 

20th – 21st December – Christmas choir concerts in the church in Javea port and the Old town. Nativity scene in the Old town.

 

22nd December – Christmas walks. Christmas turkey bicycle race. Craft fair. Christmas concert.

 

5th January 2020 – In Javea port the three Kings will arrive by fishing boat and laden down with lots of sweets! A procession then takes place through the streets of the port and the sweets are launched into the crowds to very excited children – so be warned and expect to be bombarded. A mockup nativity on a stage where the children then get to meet the 3 Kings. And to finish of course some fireworks.

 

 

A Merry Christmas from Ultimate Property Javea 

 

 

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