Spanish Christmas Traditions
Apart from the streets being filled with Christmas lights making the town seem magical in itself, we’ve put together a list of a few Spanish traditions around this time of year, as well as a few non-Spanish traditions. We hope these ideas can help you enjoy a unique Christmas in Valencia!
Eat traditional Spanish foods
Of course each region of Spain is different, but many parts of Spain (including Valencia!) tend to eat seafood for their main Christmas meal, especially lobster and prawns. Apart from seafood, there are many unique sweets which can only be found around this time of year – pretty much everything made of almonds! You can find marzipan (ground almond treats), turrón (nougat made of almonds), and polvorones (almond cookies with powdered sugar) in just about any bakery around town. And of course cava (the Spanish version of champagne) is served around Christmastime, as well!
Buy a lottery ticket
Buying a ticket from the Spanish National Lottery is a very popular tradition to do before Christmas. On December 22nd, everyone waits for the announcement of that year’s lucky numbers which are sung by schoolchildren on live TV. The lottery even has a special name, `El Gordo´ which literally means `The Fat One´ because of the huge amount of money you can win!
Take part in the Spanish version of April Fool’s Day
Did you know there is an equivalent to April Fool’s Day here in Spain, only it takes place on December 28th? That’s right, it’s known as Day of the Holy Innocents (Día de los Santos Inocentes), and on this day many people like to play practical jokes on each other.
Not-so-typical Spanish Christmas Activities:
If you’re looking for a few non-traditional activities to do here in Spain, here are a few ideas!
Go ice skating
Even though it’s not that cold in Valencia and there’s no snow, there is still an ice skating rink to help you feel as though you’re in a colder place! It is located in The Town Square (Plaza de Ayuntamiento) which is one of the most spectacular places in Valencia at Christmastime. It’s full of beautiful lights, happy people and a cheerful Christmas spirit. There are other skating rinks located in shopping malls a bit further out of the city center, too.
Have Breakfast with Santa Claus
If you’re looking for a place to see Santa Claus, you’ll have to go to the Hard Rock Cafe! Santa Claus will appear on December 15th to meet kids and adults in Valencia with a special breakfast at the Hard Rock Cafe. From 10am to 1pm you can enjoy the experience of getting to know Santa Claus and give him your cards and letters with Christmas lists of presents you’re wishing for!