Christmas Celebrations in Granada and the Costa Tropical: A Festive Season

As the holiday season approaches, Granada and the Costa Tropical come alive with the spirit of Christmas, offering a magical and festive atmosphere that captivates locals and visitors alike. From the enchanting streets of Granada to the picturesque coastal towns, the region celebrates Christmas with a unique blend of tradition, culture, and warmth. Let’s explore the delightful festivities that make Christmas in Granada and the Costa Tropical an unforgettable experience,

Costa Tropical, with its charming coastal towns like Almuñécar and Salobreña, become immersed in the festive spirit. The seafront promenades and town centres are decorated with lights, Christmas trees, and other festive ornaments, creating a scenic backdrop for holiday celebrations. Granada city also transforms into a twinkling wonderland during the Christmas period, with elaborate light displays and festive decorations. The historic streets and squares are illuminated, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The city centre, especially around the Cathedral and Bib-Rambla Square, becomes a hub of festive activity, with Christmas markets, street performers, and joyful crowds.

christmas granada 1


In Spain, there is a unique celebration known as “Día de los Santos Inocentes” or Holy Innocents’ Day on December 28th. Often referred to as the Spanish equivalent of April Fools’ Day, this lighthearted occasion involves playful pranks, jokes, and humorous hoaxes. Families and friends engage in good-natured trickery, and even media outlets contribute by sharing fictional stories. The day commemorates the biblical story of King Herod’s order to massacre young male children, and while the historical background is somber, the modern-day observance is a cheerful and amusing interlude during the festive season in Spain.

The most important Christmas traditions on the Costa Tropical and Granada:

Nochebuena (Christmas Eve): On December 24th, families gather for a festive dinner, often featuring traditional dishes like seafood, lamb, and sweets. Midnight Mass, known as “La Misa del Gallo,” is a significant part of the celebration. Most shops and restaurantes close earlier in the afternoon that day. In recent years, a new tradition has appeared among young adults called “prenochebuena”, in which friends get together to celebrate in a bar before joining the family for Nochebuena’s dinner.

 

Christmas on the Costa Tropical

Día de Navidad (Christmas Day): on 25th December some families indulge in a distinctive Christmas lunch, while others opt for a regular meal, having already celebrated elaborately the previous day. It is a common practice for families to creatively repurpose leftovers from the festive Nochebuena celebration, ensuring that the Christmas Day meals retain a delightful touch of the previous night’s merriment. In Spain, the beloved figure associated with gift-giving during the Christmas season is not Santa Claus but rather the Three Wise Men, known as the “Reyes Magos”. While Santa Claus, or “Papá Noel,” has increased in popularity in recent years, especially in commercial contexts, and many families also celebrate the traditional gift-giving day revolves on Christmas Day. Most people have a day off work this day and most shops will be closed.

christmas granada 2

Nochevieja (New Year’s Eve): December 31st is a night of lively celebrations and fireworks. Families and friends gather for a special dinner while they wait for the “campanadas” moment (the chiming of the bells) at 12 o´clock. As the clock counts down to midnight on December 31st, Spanish people consume quickly the twelve grapes, each grape symbolizing good luck for each month of the coming year. This custom is often performed while watching the live broadcast of the clock striking twelve at the Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Many people attend the “campanadas” on the local town hall square, where grapes and party bags are distributed to the crowd. This is followed by fireworks displays and live music performances.

Noche de Reyes (Three Kings’ night): Celebrated on January 5th, this day marks the arrival of the Three Wise Men, Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar, who followed the star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to the newborn Jesus. Festivities include parades (cabalgatas). During these processions, elaborately adorned floats carry the Three Kings, accompanied by their royal entourage, through the streets. The spectacle is a visual feast with participants dressed in majestic costumes, and it captures the attention and excitement of children and adults alike. After returning home from the “cabalgata”,  children traditionally leave their shoes out, along with a plate of treats for the kings and water or milk for their camels.

christmas granada 3

Día de Reyes (January 6th): In return, the Three Kings leave gifts and sweets for the children, creating a magical atmosphere in homes across the country. The day itself is a public holiday, and families often gather for a festive meal. One of the culinary highlights is the “Roscón de Reyes,” a ring-shaped cake adorned with candied fruits and sometimes filled with cream or chocolate. Sharing this delicious treat is a cherished tradition, and hidden within the cake are small surprises or a figurine, adding an element of excitement to the celebration. Tradition has it that the person who finds the bean has to buy the cake the following year.

Christmas Markets:
The Christmas markets in Granada and the Costa Tropical are a feast for the senses. Traditional markets pop up in various locations, offering a delightful array of handmade crafts, artisanal gifts and seasonal treats. Visitors can explore stalls filled with nativity scenes, festive decorations, and local delicacies, making it the perfect opportunity to find unique gifts and immerse themselves in the holiday spirit.

christmas market

Nativity scenes:
Nativity scenes, or “Belenes” in Spanish, are an integral part of Christmas traditions across the country. These intricate displays depict the biblical story of the birth of Jesus, often featuring handcrafted figurines and elaborate backdrops that showcase the talent of locals artists.

You may also be interested in....

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic needed by Google Analytics.   Este sitio web utiliza cookies para que usted tenga la mejor experiencia de usuario. Si continúa navegando está dando su consentimiento para la aceptación de las mencionadas cookies y la aceptación de nuestra política de privacidad, haga clic en el enlace para mayor información. View more
Cookies settings
Accept
Privacy & Cookie policy
Privacy & Cookies policy
Cookie name Active

Who we are

Suggested text: Our website address is: https://costatropical.com.

Comments

Suggested text: When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection. An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: https://automattic.com/privacy/. After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Media

Suggested text: If you upload images to the website, you should avoid uploading images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on the website.

Cookies

Suggested text: If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year. If you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser. When you log in, we will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select "Remember Me", your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed. If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Suggested text: Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website. These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Who we share your data with

Suggested text: If you request a password reset, your IP address will be included in the reset email.

How long we retain your data

Suggested text: If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue. For users that register on our website (if any), we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

What rights you have over your data

Suggested text: If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Where we send your data

Suggested text: Visitor comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.
Save settings
Cookies settings