Living in Andalucía - Christmas

Christmas on the beach in Andalucia © Michelle Chaplow
Christmas on the beach in Andalucia.

Christmas

Christmas is not Andalucia´s biggest religious celebration - Semana Santa has that distinction. But it is nonetheless a big deal, with all the seasonal ambience, lights, markets, special food and other trappings. Every school, shop, office and home has a Nativity Scene.

Traditionally, children received their presents at Dia de los Reyes Magos (Kings´ Day, 6 January), but these days many get theirs either at Christmas, or at both Christmas and Reyes, as foreign influence grows in Spain.

The big event in these parts is Christmas Eve (Nochebuena), rather than Christmas Day, when a full-on late-night family meal is likely to feature ham (of course - no Andalucian house is complete at Christmas without a pig leg sitting in the kitchen for some surreptitious snacking), cheese, seafood, and traditional seasonal Spanish pastries and sweets such as Roscos Navideños (donuts) and turron (almond nougat).

Christmas Festivals in Spain Christmas in Andalucia
A full guide to all the Christmas season´s events and festivals.
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Old traditions or foreign arrivistes - Belen (nativity scene) or tree? Papa Noel (Father Christmas) or the Reyes (Kings)? Find out what everyone´s talking about.
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Books for Christmas Christmas of the Gypsies
Browse through our my.andalucia.com bookstore for gift ideas, great reads books relating to Andalucia.
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How gypsies celebrate Jesus´s birth on 25 December as they celebrate every other important event - with flamenco.
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The Reyes Magos Villancicos
Find out the complete who, what, when, where and why of this highlight of the Christmas season, where breakfast on the big day, 6 January.
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The villancicos are a kind of flamenco Christmas Carol that were originally peasant songs, but have now been flamencoized and sung at Christmas time.
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Christmas Food and Recipes Spanish Christmas Pastries
Read more about traditional Andalucian Christmas meals, dishes, pastries and sweets, and popular customs such as Belenes, try your hand at a couple of Spanish Christmas recipes.
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Traditional Spanish Christmas pastries (of the non-"turrón" type) add a special touch to the holidays with their own distinct flavours - and textures! Here is a look at some of the most popular specialities.
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Roscos Navideños Almond Turron
Christmas in Andalucia is not complete with your Roscos Navideños - think a boozy aniseed donut
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The most popular Christmas sweet, which comes in many varieties - try our recipe to make your own
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Christmas shopping  
The what, where and when of sorting your purchases for the festive season.
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