The Christmas season is just around the corner and with it comes the wonderful family atmosphere that the Costa del Sol does so well. From street parties to beach bars and everything in between, Malaga city and province offer limitless opportunities for fun and festive cheer, and it’s all just a short hop from CLC Club La Costa World.
Light Up Your Life!
Malaga offers one of, if not the best Christmas light displays in Spain. Millions of bulbs illuminate the city with a canopy of lights glimmering the length of Calle Larios to the Christmas tree in the Plaza de la Constitución. The trees in the Paseo de Parque are festooned with illuminations that brighten the cabanas beneath selling a variety of Christmas fare whilst the Alameda twinkles with the brilliance of a thousand stars.
The lights are scheduled to be turned on in the evening of 25th November (approx.18.30) and will continue to shine until the 6th January following the Three Kings celebration.
The streets of Malaga are lively, with the aroma of roasted chestnuts rising up from cauldron-like pots and mingling with the babble of conversation in the night air. Indulge yourself with churros dipped into mugs of thick hot chocolate or pop into a bar for a glass of cava or Malaga wine and a light tapa.
Make a Song and Dance
The streets and squares of Malaga also resound with the sound of music as traditional and modern, organised and impromptu concerts continue the party atmosphere throughout the Advent season.
The Annual Verdiales Festival starts on 28th December at the Recinto Ferial del Puerto del Torre, on the road between Malaga and the village of Almogía, though the streets of central Malaga also play host to the ´pandas´ as the Verdiales groups are known. Reminiscent of English Morris dancers with their colourful headgear bedecked with flowers, ribbon, mirrors, bells and beads and energetic dance moves, this is folk music that brings out the happiness in everyone. The music is predominantly from guitar, lute, tambourines and castanets interspersed with rousing cries of “Ay” from the group members. The dancers need to be agile as their leaps and twirls coupled with specific gestures and finger clicks follow the 3 verse (copla) song structure.
Carol singing is not an integral part of Spanish festive celebrations but nativities, or Belens, are BIG business.
Big is best for Belens
When we say big business, we mean just that. Not for Malagueños a lone donkey and solo cow keeping Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus company. Here Belens take up the whole story – of the town of Bethlehem. A LED fire heats a farrier´s irons, geese, chickens and camels wander the streets, women weave baskets or bake bread and men haggle over the price of rice.
Malaga city has a large nativity by the town hall (ayuntamiento), but in Funegirola the Belen business is taken to another level. Residents will convert a room of their house, or their garage, into a nativity marvel. A route is mapped out through the town guiding visitors to each reincarnation of the story. From Club La Costa World you can pop into town and see for yourself just how much thought and work goes into it all – you’ll be amazed by just how grand the designs are.
Pick up a present or two
If the idea of creating a beautiful Belen grabs you, then Malaga is the perfect place to pick up the necessary accoutrements. The cabanas that run along the Paseo del Parque to Plaza de la Marina sell all you need to create a noteworthy nativity. You can also snag yourself colourful hats and tambourines as a reminder of the Verdiales musicians and dancers or a bag of the traditional sweets, Roscos de Anís.
For high street shopping it’s back to the dazzling Calle Larios and Spanish fashion brands such as Desigual, Zara and Mango alongside international brands such as The Body Shop.
Whatever you wish from the festive season, Malaga is certain to deliver with its streets throbbing with fun and laughter from dusk ´til dawn.
Malaga´s Christmas lights are turned on Monday – Thursday 18.30 – 00.00 and 18.30 – 02.30, Friday – Sunday.
For more information on the Verdiales festival go to http://www.andalucia.org/es/eventos/fiesta-mayor-de-los-verdiales/
CLC Club La Costa World is a multi-resort on the Costa del Sol, to see more visit their site at www.clcworld.com