Christmas traditions in Málaga – 2017
Málaga is beautiful in December. The weather is usually sunny and warm during the day. Perfect for sightseeing, cycling along the promenade or sipping a glass of Sangría at one of the lovely squares in the centre.
At night it cools down just enough to enjoy the typical Christmas atmosphere. The Malagueños have already started their Christmas preparations! Here is a bit more information about the holidays in Málaga.
The impressive Christmas lights that decorate the main shopping street, Calle Larios, are set up in the beginning of November, and the lights and music show that takes place during the holidays is a must see. The lights will be turned on the 24th of November this year.
One of the ways of celebrating Christmas deeply rooted in Spanish culture is the Nativity scenes. These collections of figures can be found in almost every household in Málaga. Most families often start with a humble four or five figurines and sometimes it ends up taking over the whole living room.
The most interesting Nativity scenes in Malaga are the ones showcased in Málaga city hall (the biggest in town!) and in the brotherhoods. The brotherhoods take their Easter competition for the best, most beautiful processions in the city to the Christmas time, and they all claim to have the most impressive Nativity scene in Malaga.
Family is the extra important during the Christmas period. Dec 24th is called NOCHE BUENA… the GOOD NIGHT!
It is tradition to have a big family dinner and the typical food is GAMBAS- shrimps… and much, much more! Traditionally the children don’t get presents from Santa Claus. They get presents on the night on January 5th from los Reyes Magos- the Magic Kings (the Three Kings).
The meal on Noche Buena is the most important meal of the year. All the family gets together that night. So, if you are thinking of having a night out on the town on Dec. 24th you can forget it! Well, at least until midnight! Before that, all the bars and restaurants are closed because everyone is with their families. But the poor bar workers, after having the biggest meal of the year then have to head back to work again as the bars open at midnight.
New year´s eve – Noche Vieja
The best place to go to in Málaga on New Year´s Eve is the Plaza de la Constitución. They will have a stage set up with either a DJ or a concert. Usually starts around 11 a.m. and then they have ‘recorded dongs’ of the clock at midnight to do the grapes. On each DONG of the clock at midnight you have to eat one grape, so twelve grapes in quick succession which is very difficult to do, believe me! This will bring good luck in the new year.
It is a very nice atmosphere, everyone is having a good time, all ages go there, families with young children, old couples, young people. It is normal to take a bottle of cava to drink at midnight. The party in the square continues after midnight.