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Having lived in Spain for over 10 years I’m often asked “What’s it like at Christmas? Surely it can’t be the same as being in the UK.” Well, it’s certainly not the same, in my opinion it’s worlds better. For one thing, there is far less hype building up to the big day. Until 1st December you are unlikely to see a Christmas tree or lights. That said when the lights do come on they are worth the wait. This year’s lights in Calle Larios, Malaga are spectacular.
Needless to say another big difference is the weather. I have just checked the forecast for Christmas day and it’s predicting a balmy 21´ degrees in Nerja. That leaves the options open for a traditional turkey roast at home or a paella on Burriana Beach.
Spain of course has its own Christmas traditions and customs. Most Spanish families get together to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. There is usually a big family meal before mass.
Whilst the children do have some presents on Christmas Day the main day for giving and receiving is Epiphany, 6 January. The night before children leave their shoes by an open door or window for the three kings ‘Los Reyes Magos’ to put their presents in …… or coal if they are naughty! Of course my own children were quick to adopt this tradition when they started school here and worked out they might qualify for presents from both Santa and the Three Kings. There is also a procession of the kings through the streets of Nerja with a carnival like atmosphere. This normally passes through the town centre to the Balcon de Europa.
At the end of the day as we all know Christmas means different things to different people. Whether its time spent with family and friends or a chance for a bit of R&R. Whatever you are looking for I can’t think of anywhere I would rather spend it than Nerja.