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Merry Christmas from Andalucia!

December 23, 2013 – 10:39 pm Christmas lights in Seville. Christmas lights in Seville. Orange and lights - Christmas in Seville Orange and lights – Christmas in Seville Singong zambombas, Christmas songs, in the street. Singing zambombas, Christmas songs, in the street. Holy family in nativity scene, found across Spain in homes, schools and offices. Holy family in belen (nativity scene), found across Spain in homes, schools and offices. Part of nativity scene made entirely of chocolate, in Seville. Part of nativity scene made entirely of chocolate, in Seville. Convent pastries at a Christmas sale. Convent pastries at a Christmas sale.

With Christmas falling on a Wednesday this year, for many people the festive season started at the end of last week, with today and tomorrow, Christmas Eve, being non-starters in terms of work.

In Andalucia, Christmas is all about El Gordo, the lottery whose million-euro winning tickets were drawn yesterday; sitting down to eat and drink with family on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve); pastries; belenes (nativity scenes); singing villancicos (Christmas carols) and zambombas (flamenco Christmas songs).

The festive season stretches on through New Year’s Eve (Noche Vieja), with the 12 grapes, until 5 January, for the Reyes Magos. These three kings appear on camel, horseback, trailer or float on every town throughout Spain, hurling sweets at the crowds accompanied by numerous helpers, some with blackened faces.

If you live in Andalucia, you’ll find this to be a joyous time of year, where you can enjoy the festive atmosphere out in the streets, thanks to the mild winter temperatures.

Wishing all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2014!

The Reyes Magos, or Three Kings, make an appearance all over Spain on 5/6 January. The Reyes Magos (on camels), or Three Kings, make an appearance all over Spain on 5/6 January.

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