It is fair to say that Christmas in Spain begins when the street lights come up and everyone starts to get into the spirit of Christmas.
Add to that a double National Holiday in early December, and it will come as no surprise to learn that many Spaniards use the long weekend to go away for a few days and visit a regional capital city and marvel at the street lights. While there, they will buy their lottery tickets, too. They just won't be able to resist the temptation.
Some of the more popular destinations include Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga and Seville.
If you visit Madrid this December, you will see plenty of fancy decorations, designed by well-known Spanish fashion designers, such as Hannibal Laguna, Ángel Schlesser and Purificación García, to name but a few.
The inauguration of the Christmas Tree in the central square of Puerta del Sol is a highly anticipated affair. The square is also the venue of the most famous and televised New Year's Eve's countdown in all of Spain.
We recommend you go on a rooftop Christmas bus tour that will take you around the city and allow you to see, if not touch, the street lights from real close. The price of the ride is very symbolic (less than €2), and it is a lot of fun. It brings the magic of Christmas to life.
Barcelona has gone a step further, and rather than decorating only the city centre, the street lights reach every neighbourhood in the city, a total of 100 kms of street lights, all low wattage leds!
This year, the neighbourhood of El Raval has introduced a novel concept - its streets will be lit up with silhouettes of its residents, over 60 of them.
In Seville, it's the light show on the city's façades that brings Christmas spirit to life. Accompanied by music, it is a spectacle not to be missed.
And speaking of music, seeing groups of flamenco singers singing typical flamenco villancicos (Spanish Christmas songs) in streets and squares, especially in the Triana neighbourhood, is a common sight.
Photo: ABC de Sevilla
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