Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What you shouldn't miss in Madrid at Christmas

The Christmas market in Madrid opened last week in Plaza Mayor. So, what are you waiting for? Go there to buy your Christmas decorations, food and sweets. You can already smell the Christmas spirit surrounding this historic square which once was the stage for public executions and has turned into a meeting place that gets full of good vibes at this time of the year.

Apart from this awesome Christmas market, you should buy funny items in the jokes and costumes market in Plaza Santa Cruz, a few steps from Plaza Mayor. There you will find funny stuff for New Year's Eve and the Día de los Inocentes on 28th December (Spanish equivalent to April's Fool).

Buy your Christmas presents in the thousands of shops in the center of Madrid or in El Corte Inglés department store. But first, take some time to watch the amazing and beautiful Christmas shows and decorations. Outstanding is the Cortylandia Christmas show which you can see on the facade of El Corte Inglés in Preciados street. If you have children, they are going to love it! Friendly, colorful robots dance at the rhythm of the catchy Cortylandia song.

After your Christmas shopping, you might be hungry. Why don't you have some churros with chocolate? Have a cup of hot chocolate and dip your churros into it! These typical strip fried doughs are delicious and the hot chocolate will help you stand the cold temperatures in December.

Would you like to go ice skating? Take your children to the artificial ice rink in Plaza Callao, very close to the Cortylandia show. This ice rink is only for kids and you will find a beautiful, decorated Christmas tree next to it. If you go to Plaza La Luna, you can go ice skating as well.

But the best of Christmas holidays in Madrid is that they are very long (at least for children), since they don't finish until the 6th January! That's great, don't you think?

Although Santa Claus also visits the city, Madrid children wait more impatiently for the Three Wise Men arriving on 5th January. These three magicians, in Spanish culture, go on a parade around the city, smile at children, greet them and throw them sweets. Their pages and lorries full of presents go with them. At the tail end of the parade, a lorry full of coal is the most feared and least loved by children. Tradition says that naughty kids will not get presents, but a piece of coal!

"If you don't go to sleep soon, the
Three Wise Men won't leave you any gifts!"

Once the Three Wise Men parade is finished, go quickly to your Madrid apartment to have dinner and go to bed early. If you don't go to sleep soon, the Three Wise Men won't leave you any gifts! And, don't forget to leave them a glass of water and some biscuits for them and their camels. They still have a very long night ahead!

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