Full of tradition, Christmas embraces Valencia in a wonderful atmosphere. Whether you’re attending midnight mass and the sessions of Christmas carols in the city’s churches, or contemplating the magic of the Nativity displays, such as the examples on display in Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Valencia is a great place to spend the festive season.
The streets are host to a lively landscape of flashing lights, red carpets and trees decorated in evocative reds and greens, transmitting the Christmas spirit to the passer-by. The street markets held in Baron de Cárcer, la Merced and El Cabañal sell the typical Christmas nougat and toys. Greater glamour can be found in the Christmas trees and poinsettias that decorate and are sold in the Colón Market. And those looking for the best ingredients for Christmas fare succumb to juicy truffled turkey, lamb or pork and Mediterranean shellfish on offer in the Central Market.
Whilst families gather around the table in the warmth of the family home and attend traditional rituals such as the midnight mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, others celebrate with friends in the streets, as on New Year’s Eve. To begin the New Year on the right foot, eating 12 grapes to the chimes of the clock in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento is a must.
Shops and businesses experience the busiest days of the year, but everything stops on 5th January with the Procession of the Three Kings. Their Majesties land in the port and cross the city on floats and camels to spread hope and joy in the form of toys and sweets, a magic moment during which children are able to meet Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar. At night, the Kings leave their gifts and on the 6th January children awaken to find their dreams turned into reality.
A host of recreational and cultural activities for adults and children are scheduled for these days: great concerts and operas at the Palau de la Musica and the Palau de les Arts, children’s workshops in the Ciudad de Arts y Ciencias, Expojove in Feria Valencia, the circus and the Fun Fair.
So join us in Valencia for a festive season to remember!