Christmas in Málaga
Christmas in Malaga is here and the whole province is shown with a special light, is lived in a different way, in a vibrant and wonderful environment that changes, for a few days, the way we do all things. Markets, cribs, lighting, workshops, Christmas carols, etc …. the thousands of original Christmas plans in Malaga envelop us in these days so familiar and the good weather of the Costa del Sol invites us to go out into the street to enjoy the city and those we love most. Don’t miss any detail because here we leave you everything you need to do at Christmas in Malaga, an ideal moment to rest and look for those Christmas gifts in a privileged environment.
CHRISTMAS IN MALAGA
1. CHRISTMAS MARKET
The temperature at Christmas in the province of Malaga is more than pleasant and invites you to stroll through the cities. Each municipality hosts its own Christmas market year after year where, in addition to typical Christmas products, local artisans are promoted. In the capital these stalls are located on the park promenade that leads to the Plaza de la Marina. Figures to adorn the crib, shepherd’s costumes, tambourines and sweets are mixed with necklaces, rings and handmade earrings that both like as a Christmas gift to women. An opportunity to walk while the last packages to go under the tree have just been decided.
2. CHRISTMAS LIGHTING
Malaga is known nationally for the beauty of its Christmas lighting. Hundreds of neighbours and visitors gather on the day of the ignition to be the first to enjoy this play of colours. The main Alameda is dressed in gala with thousands of white light bulbs running through the leafy trunks of the city’s most famous trees leading to the famous roundabout of the Marqués de Larios. It is also important that you take a walk along the street Larios, a place with its own entity that acquires a magical halo at Christmas.
3. CRIB COMPETITIONS
In the days leading up to Christmas Eve, several cities on the Costa del Sol host different crib competitions. One of the best known is that of Fuengirola, where each edition presents increasingly surprising montages. Many neighbours reserve a whole room or a whole garage just to put their birth. Sometimes the assembly can take months, but it has already become a tradition for Fuengiroleños. The locality designs a signposted route so that everyone who wants to can access them.
4. PLAYMOBIL NATIVITY SCENE
I’m sure you spent hours and hours playing with the Playmobil as a child, because if you are one of those you have the opportunity to show the youngest in the house why you liked them so much. As every year you will be able to enjoy the most realistic dioramas, that will go from the streets of a 19th century city or a medieval castle to a spectacular crib portal.
5. STREET CONCERTS
Christmas fills every corner of Malaga with magic. One of the elements that make this happen is the series of Christmas concerts that take place in the streets of the city. The historic centre hosts most of these shows that catch the attention of visitors and neighbours. Violins, guitars and flutes are some of the instruments that can be heard at the foot of the Alcazaba, in the Plaza de la Merced or in Calle Larios. You can’t miss a stroll through the capital of the Costa del Sol and enjoy this special gift for our ears.
6. MAJOR FESTIVAL OF VERDIALES
Malagueño folklore has one of the most interesting manifestations of flamenco: the verdiales. These particular fandangos are accompanied by a dance that accompanies the singing and are seasoned with a violin, four guitars and a tambourine. At Christmas, Malaga shows the best of this cultural manifestation through the “Fiesta mayor de verdades”. People from all over the province come to the capital to enjoy this event that takes place every year on the Day of the Innocents, that is to say, the 28th of December. If you want to get to know first hand the idiosyncrasy of Malaga’s music, don’t hesitate to come and enjoy this magnificent encounter.
7. THE DAY OF THE JEVA IN ANTEQUERA
Jeva’s Day is a most singular festivity. It is celebrated on the 25th of December in Antequera, good more specifically in the disseminated of La Higuera. This festivity of national tourist interest is celebrated around the hermitage of Jeva, hence its name, where the villagers gather in the chapel to venerate the virgin, to the sound of the verdiales and with the traditional tasting of Christmas sweets.
8. CHRISTMAS PRODUCTS
If you are going to be in the province of Malaga at Christmas it is very important that you try their typical products of the time. Antequera is the birthplace of mantecados and its traditional production, together with its ancestral recipe, means that every year hundreds of people visit the town in search of the sweetest snack. The nuns of the convents also set to work to surprise the faithful who come to buy their egg yolks, pestiños or polvorones. The typical Christmas sweets in Malaga are exquisite and have a well-deserved reputation in the world of national pastries.
9. WALKS ON THE BEACH
The sun rises splendidly in Malaga in spite of being December. The temperatures are very pleasant and this invites you to go for a walk. But that’s not all. The more daring can even approach the beach and take a bath. The icy water of December can help circulation and skin problems. What is certain is that if you are in the province of Malaga for Christmas you have to walk along the beach or even take a bike ride.
10. CHRISTMAS CAROL COMPETITION
The vast majority of Malaga’s cities hold traditional Christmas carol competitions these days. A date where the angelic voices take centre stage in the most typical Christmas songs. Choirs, church groups or pastoralists show their neighbours the themes they have been preparing throughout the year. Children and adults enjoy this annual event where the tambourine and the zambomba come out of the drawer to put a soundtrack to the festivities.
School holidays are synonymous with many children wanting to go out and play and have fun and Mima, the children’s show in Malaga, is an exclusive fun space for children to enjoy. It has a skating rink, fairground attractions, zip line or climbing. Around 60 leisure, sports and educational activities that will delight the whole family.
12. MUSEUMS AND WORKSHOPS
Malaga boasts to be one of the Spanish and European cities with more quality museums and every day the offer is more interesting. The well-known ones have been joined by the Pompidou Centre and the Russian Museum. All of them offer temporary exhibitions, activities and workshops but culture does not stop and at Christmas there are also plays for all audiences in their main theatres.
13. WALK ALONG PIER 1 AND PALM GROVE OF SURPRISES
Walking along Pier 1 and the Surprises palm grove is another activity not to be missed if you come to Malaga. Now in the Christmas season there is more animation and many activities for children or live music as well as shops, craft stalls or restaurants for all tastes and pockets.
14. SPEND A FUN DAY WITH THE “PORQUESES”.
On the 28th of December it is traditional in Villanueva de Tapia to celebrate the ‘porqueses’. This ancient custom was used by the inhabitants of the village to look for a partner, as it consists of turning the neighbours into “compadres” thanks to a poem. The party begins with the men and women separated, and then extract from two urns the names of the couple who will become compadres during the following year and another (the third) is taken the ‘why’ (some spicy poems that are written anonymously at the start of the party) of that union.
15. DELIVERY OF LETTER TO THE ROYAL POSTMAN AND ROYAL PAGES
In the different districts of Malaga the smallest will be able to deliver their petitions to the Royal Pages that will then give them to the Magi. An example is Palo, where in front of the church of Las Angustias on the 26th and 27th of December or in the Avenida Juan Sebastián Elcano on the 2nd of January.
16. END OF YEAR VERY ATMOSPHERIC
At least since 1897 – as we know from the newspaper libraries – it is customary to eat twelve grapes next to the clock that separates the outgoing year from the incoming year. At first only in Madrid, and from 1909 in the rest of Spain. Tradition that later spread to Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina or Colombia. In Malaga the place indicated is the Plaza de la Constitución where, as every year, the City Council of the capital will distribute more than 2,500 bags of grapes and cotillones.
17. ICE SKATING
Young and old alike can enjoy a fun time on the ice rink set up on Avenida de Andalucía, next to the entrance to El Corte Inglés in the city of Málaga. It offers a pleasant way to have fun during Christmas every year.
The track is 35 metres long by 15 metres wide and is open during the Christmas holidays. The opening hours are from 10:00 to 22:00. The use of gloves is obligatory.
18. THE 40’S AGUINALDO
As every year at Christmas, Los 40 Principales continues to organize the famous ‘El aguinaldo’. This activity consists of a program that, through tracks, will guide the competitors in the search for a hidden treasure in the streets of Malaga.
The rules of ‘El aguinaldo’ are simple. The first clue is given and the others are given throughout the night on the radio. Each of them is a clue that cryptically indicates where the treasure to be found is hidden. The search space is restricted to the Historic Centre of Málaga.
19. CAVALCADE OF THE THREE WISE MEN
To end Christmas in style. On the 5th of January the visit of their Majesties the Three Wise Men of the Orient takes place. A great cavalcade is celebrated that crosses the different historical centers.
If you have decided to spend these dates in Malaga do not hesitate to sign up for the activities offered, especially the enjoyment of the city these days for its beauty and charm. Walk admiring the beautiful lighting while you listen to the most lyrical instruments in the street and think about what your Christmas gifts are going to be. Take advantage of the good weather of this mild December and don’t forget to try the typical products.