I stay in Valencia over the Christmas holidays….and you?

If you have decided not to return to your home country for the Christmas holidays, we can help you decide what to do in Valencia over this period of time. Whether you are receiving friends or family, we will make it easy for you to enjoy the city to the max over this holiday season. Simply use this diary and note down all of our suggestions!

On the night of Christmas Eve, you can attend Midnight Mass, a one hour service celebrated in Valencian churches either at 20:00 or at 0:00. You can ask at your local parish if Midnight Mass will be held and if not, you can always attend the Midnight Mass service at Valencia Cathedral over which the Archbishop of Valencia will preside.

We also invite you to enjoy a concert or two this Christmas, such as the Municipal Band of Valencia’s concert taking place on 22nd December at Palau de Valencia (11:30, Iturbi Room).

Us Spaniards love our Nativity scenes and therefore each Christmas we put together beautiful Nativity scenes and spectacles. In Valencia, the most impressive of these Nativity scenes is the one in Valencia Cathedral with 11 real-size figures. Furthermore, it really is worth seeing the Nativity Scene in Plaza del Ayuntamiento (the Town Hall Square) as well as the Christmas tree and lights.

During the Christmas holidays, many craft fairs take place which present a great opportunity to buy gifts for friends and family. Until 6th January you can enjoy the craft fair in Plaza de la Reina with more than 24 stalls open from 10:00-14:00 and 16:30-21:00.

You can buy beautiful presents in the Craft Fair in Plaza de la Reina these Christmas

A Valencian Christmas tradition is to go to the Fair and enjoy the lights, candy floss, music, attractions, etc. This year, the Christmas Fair will be located on the America’s Cup site, next to the port of Valencia, and will be open every day (Monday-Thursday: 18:00-00:00, Friday: 18:00-1:30, and Saturday and holidays: 11:00-14:00 and 18:00-1:00) until the 22nd January 2014.

Furthermore, we recommend that you take a trip to EXPOJOVE at the Valencia Fair which this year coincides the FERIA DE LA JUVENTUD (The Youth Fair), taking place from el 26/12/2013 to 04/01/2014.

And if you would like to spend a night in a Christmas Circus, here you have a list of the major circus this year in Valencia:

  •  CIRC DE NADAL CON LOS PAYASOS DE LA TELE: until 12th of January 2014. In Avenida Maestro Rodrigo, in  Nou Campanar.
  • CIRCO WONDERLAND: until 12th of January ,in front of Bioparc and  Avenida Pío Baroja.
  • GRAN CIRCO ALASKA: for the first time this year, next to las Arenas beach del 6 until  6th of January.
  • GRAN CIRCO MUNDIAL: with the 8th   International Festival of Circus, until  13th of January. In Paseo de la Alameda next to Puente de las Flores.
  • CIRCO GRAN FELE: until 5th  of January in  El Teatro Principal.
  • Colon Market also organizes many Christmas activities so go have a wander around and admire the decorations.

Moreover, we warn you that 28th December is Holy Innocents’ Day, a day during which traditionally Spaniards like to joke around. Therefore, be aware that on this day you may fall victim to various Spanish jokes and trickery.

Colon Market also organizes many Christmas activities so go have a wander around and admire the decorations.

Another thing to take part in is the Christmas Lottery. It is customary to buy tickets with friends so that potential winnings can be shared out. The Christmas jackpot this year will be 8.5 million euros so therefore, if you split this between 10 friends (participation usually costs about 30 euros) and your number comes up, you will have won €850,000!!!!! You can buy lottery tickets in many places in Valencia, the most famous being Bello in Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

On New Years Eve (31st December), friends and family get together for a celebratory dinner and to consume their 12 grapes at midnight. The midnight bells are officially chimed in Puerta del Sol in Madrid, so if you get to the capital on New Year’s Eve, do not miss out on this spectacle. For each chime of the bell, you must eat a grape so that once all 12 grapes have been eaten, 2013 will have officially begun!!!!!!!!!!

There are many things you can do on New Years Eve such as parties organized by hotels and nightclubs. However on the other hand, the atmosphere in the streets of Valencia is very lively too so perhaps it is enough to simply go to Plaza del Ayuntamiento at midnight and see what’s going on…

On 5th January, the Three Wise Men come and parade through the streets of Valencia. Arriving at the port at 17:00, they begin their trip at 18:00 heading down Paseo de la Alameda in the direction of Calle de la Paz. They then continue towards Plaza de la Reina, through Calle San Vicente, finally ending up in Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

The Three Kings will pass by your house, if you have behaved well that is, to leave you the gifts you so desire. However, if you have not been on your best behavior, you will be left simply with coal (a black sweet which looks like a lump of coal).

And if you wish the celebrate the Christmas holidays through gastronomic experiences along with  your friends and family, go buy a chocolate and churros in Santa Catalina, try the Xixona turrón, have a nice paella at paseo marítimo and snack on horchata and fartons in Alboraia.

We will you a Merry Christmas!!!! See you again at University on 7th January!!!!

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  1. How do you celebrate the holidays? Christmas traditions from all over the world – International Relations CEU-UCH

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