Can you imagine spending Christmas in the Canary Islands?
Whilst a winter sun destination might seem a bit of a strange place to celebrate Christmas and New Year, it’s a peak time for visitors to the Canaries. We admit that a warm climate and Christmas don’t immediately conjure up a festive environment, but if you can get over the temperature difference, it’s a lovely time to visit one of the Canary Islands.
In the lead up to Christmas, there are plenty of festive events with Christmas markets and Papa Noel (Santa) parades. The resorts have festive Christmas lights festooning the beach fronts, and the shopping centres have Christmas trees and decorations.
Picture your selfies of spending Christmas Day on the beach!
It really is beach weather, you can expect 24 degrees and sunshine during the day. Enjoy a festive picnic on the beach and enjoy tagging friends and family in your photos! If you want a traditional Christmas dinner, don’t worry there are plenty of British and Irish pubs offering roast turkey with all the trimmings.
Remember to pack your festive clothes
It’s perfectly normal to find visitors wearing their Christmas hats, t-shirts and even festive jumpers in the holiday resorts, so remember to pack your favourite to wear on Christmas day. The local shops normally have a variety of Christmas hats on sale if you want to buy something new on arrival.
Normal businesses will be closed on the 25th December, 1st January and 6th January for the official Spanish holidays, however most restaurants and shops in the resorts will remain open during this time.
This is the Christmas song you will hear being played everywhere. We’ve kindly included a video with the lyrics, so you can sing along!
How do you celebrate Christmas Day in Spain?
Christmas Eve is celebrated, rather than Christmas Day, which is known as Nochebuena. Families gather in the evening for a special meal. Traditionally gifts are given on the Día del Reyes in January.
How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve in Spain?
New Year’s Eve is known as Fin de Año (the end of the year) and celebrated on the Vispera de Año Nuevo. In Spanish areas the evening of the 31st will be like a ghost town, whilst families dine at home together, but after midnight the doors burst open, to the sound of fireworks and they emerge onto the streets to party to dawn, dressed in their finest. On the chimes of midnight it is tradition to eat 1 grape per bong and celebrate with a glass of cava.
When do children receive gifts for Christmas in Spain?
Spanish children have to wait until the 6th January to receive their presents! They are delivered by the three kings, known as los Reyes Magos de Oriente. Look out for the Cabalgata de SS.MM. los Reyes Magos de Oriente events (Kings procession) which take place on the 5th January where you can see Melchor, Gaspar & Baltasar riding camels. The Kings throw sweets out to the excited children during the procession, before stopping to collect their letters.
On Día de Reyes, the 6th January, it’s tradition to have a special cake called a Roscón de Reyes. This is a sweet bread circle, decorated with candied fruits and available with different fillings, we like the cream version, there’s also vanilla and chocolate. Hidden inside the filling is a bean and a king, so take care when tucking in. If you get the king you wear the crown, if you get the bean you pay for the cake!
One other thing to do when visiting Spain over Christmas is to seek out the local Belén. These are miniature nativity scenes created in competition with other municipalities. If you look carefully there’s a cheeky little figure of “el Caganer”, bearing their bottom, going to the toilet!
How ever you decide to celebrate, we hope you enjoy your Christmas in the Canary Islands.
Do let us know if we can help plan your festive holiday for Christmas & New Year, we’d love to hear from you.