FESTIVITY: Christmas in the Canary Islands, feet in the sand and the eyes on the stars

You don't know where to spend the holiday season yet? Between Spanish traditions and Christmas magic, the Canary Islands are an ideal destination for holidays with family or friends.
No more winter greyness, rain and cold. In the Canary Islands, you can enjoy mild temperatures between 20 and 25 °C during the month of December. Something to warm the heart at this time of year. This is why the Canary Islands are perhaps the ideal destination for the holiday season.

Special events, Christmas traditions (songs, culinary specialities), Catholic traditions (nativity scenes, masses), New Year's Day festivities... Until January 6 you can enjoy a climate that favours both escapism and relaxation. Who knows, you may even be seduced by the place to the point of buying a pretty seaside apartment in Tenerife or a second home near the beach in Fuerteventura.

Christmas in the Canary Islands

As everywhere, the Canary Islands do not escape the festive atmosphere that animates this time of year. This Spanish region is also very marked by the Catholic tradition, as shown by the many nativity scenes that you will find everywhere in the archipelago (the Belén).

They are most often organized and implemented by local churches. However, if you pass through Tenerife, do not miss the large living crib of Tigaiga in Los Realejos (El Belén Viviente de Tigaiga) in which the inhabitants participate or the giant crib of the Orotova.

Are you looking for a less traditional creche? Go to the island of Gran Canaria to admire the sand crib on Las Canteras beach (Belén de Arena). While walking on the island of Gran Canaria you can also meet Ranchos de Pascua, small groups of street musicians (whose existence dates back to the fundraising for the masses). And since you are on the island, why not discover the Maspalomas nature reserve, its infinite dunes and enjoy a few hours of sunshine and magnificent beaches...

Wherever you are on the evening of December 24th, for Nochebuena (Christmas Eve), you will certainly attend the child's traditional dance. The Baïle del Niño or Tajaraste del Niño is a group dance, in traditional shepherd's costume, that honours the child Jesus.

Tradition has it that we spend Nochebuena with our family over a good dinner before going to midnight mass. After walking through the Christmas markets, tasting quesadilla de El Hierro (cinnamon pastry) and Truchas de batata, take advantage of the dinner to savour a few local specialities. On the menu: rabbit in salmorejo, trout stuffed with almonds, fresh fish and seafood, papas arrugadas (potatoes)... and for dessert mazapans, polverons and Turron (nougat). Happy Nochebuena!

The must-see event on 25 December is undoubtedly the great Christmas concert at the Port of Santa Cruz in Tenerife. Majestically performed by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, this concert is broadcasted every year on television.

The few days between Christmas and New Year's Day are an opportunity to visit the wonders of the region. Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote with its volcanic landscapes is undoubtedly one of them.

New Year's Eve in the Canary Islands and good resolutions

After a week of Christmas markets and gourmet tastings, the most sporty will be delighted to participate to the New Year's Eve race, which is organised on 31 December in La Laguna on the island of Tenerife. Its 5.7km circuit is ideal to eliminate excesses and conclude the year as it should.

For New Year's Eve or Nochevieja everyone gets dressed up. According to tradition, after having dinner with their family, Canary Islanders go out to celebrate.

On the island of Fuerteventura, the capital Puerto del Rosario or Corralejo organizes annual festivities, concerts and a fireworks show. If you prefer to stay calm and make plans for the coming year, choose one of its beautiful beaches, settle down and contemplate the starry sky.

On January 1st, bend to tradition and take a dip in the water for the New Year's Day swim, a symbol of renewal and purity. If you are nostalgic for the white coat that sometimes accompanies Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations, all you have to do is go to Mount Teide (Tenerife). The peaks of this great volcano are covered with snow throughout the winter. You can start a snowball fight at your leisure. Beach or snow, in the Canary Islands you don't need to choose.

Those who decide to extend their stay a little longer will be able to attend the procession of the Three Wise Men on January 5 and 6. Melchior, Gaspard and Balthazar parade with their float in the major cities of the archipelago such as Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The children are especially waiting for them because, during the night, kings come to each house to leave them gifts.