Christmas in Valencia adds an unforgettable twinkle to its plazas and attractions.
The streets are lined with sparkling lights and red carpets, giving a VIP feel to Christmas shopping, while the Christmas trees are decorated in traditional reds and greens. Nativity displays can be seen in shop windows, countless churches and on a larger scale in Plaza del Ayuntamiento.
If you are visiting Valencia before Christmas, Christmas Markets are a great place to get in the festive mood and get some Christmas shopping ticked off your to do list. Christmas Markets in Valencia this year will be held in the City of Arts and Sciences, Plaza Manises, Queens Square and Colon Market. Expect to see traditional Spanish nougat sold with the same festive glee as mince pies or chestnuts would be at English Christmas markets. Colon Market is particularly picturesque, with Christmas flowers – poinsettias – sold here.
Something Christmas shoppers might not expect is the Christmas circuses performing throughout the city, and the funfair at the Marina Real Juan Carlos the 1st. If you stay for some post-Christmas rest and relaxation, make sure you see in the New Year Valencia style. Most New Year’s Eve party goers head to the city’s squares for midnight, where a countdown is accompanied by the eating of 12 grapes – one for each chime of the clock in Plaza del Ayuntamiento.
Stay for the first week of January and you will see would a big deal the Epiphany is to the Spanish. Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, marks the end of the Christmas and is said to signify the day the three wise men arrived at the stable where Jesus was born. This is recognised as the moment Jesus was recognised as the son of God by the wider world. In modern Valencia, everything stops on 5th
January for the Procession of the Three Kings. This is another gift- giving occasion, thought by some to be more prevalent than the giving of gifts on the 25th as the Kings are said to travel through the town leaving toys and sweets for the children to wake up to on the 6th January, which is the date of the Epiphany.
To find out more about the traditions and spectacles of Valencia at Christmas, visit the Visit Valencia website.