Christmas events on the Costa Blanca
Spain, the country of fiestas and festivals! Every village, no matter how small, has its own, unique celebrations.
December 6th – Dia de la Constitucion – Constitution day, is a national holiday.
December 8th – This is the public holiday of Immaculada (Feast of the Immaculate Conception) which marks the beginning of the religious Christmas celebrations.
December 9th – Immaculate Conception observed. The Immaculate Conception, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, was the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne.
21st December – In a few cities, 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.
22nd December – All over Spain people never stray far from a TV or radio as the Christmas lottery is drawn over a period of many hours. Everybody in Spain buys tickets for this lottery in the hope of winning El Gordo (the fat one) and the winning number usually means that a good number of people from the same village become a lot better off overnight.
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.
25th December – Children may receive a small gift on Nochebuena or this morning but the day for presents is 6th January, Epiphany when the Three Kings bring gifts for the children. Christmas Day is a national holiday in Spain so shops are closed.
28th December – This is the day of Santos Inocentes (Holy Innocents) and is the equivalent of April Fools’ Day when people play practical jokes on one another.
31st December – New Year’s Eve is known as NocheVieja. It is a big celebration all over the country with street parties and special nights in hotels and clubs everywhere.
1st January – A low key public holiday with plenty of people sleeping off their excesses.
5th January – There are processions all over Spain this evening where sweets are thrown from the floats to all the people who come out to watch.
6th January – This is the Feast of the Epiphany (Día de Los Reyes Magos) when the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem. For Spanish children, this is the most important day of the year when they wake up to find that Los Reyes Magos (the Three Kings/Wise Men) have left gifts for them in their house.
7th January – The day after receiving their gifts children return to school, their parents go back to work and Christmas in Spain is all over for another year.