Holidays in Seville

The weather might be mild, but come December, Seville starts to get merry and festive! The Andalusian capital blooms with lights, Christmas décor, carol singers, and a jovial atmosphere that makes this an extra special time to visit the city. From the traditional sweet treats that are a staple around this time, to the long queues outside of lottery kiosks as everyone tries their luck at El Gordo, there’s a lot of customs and traditions flavoring the holiday season in Seville. Our Mimo Sevilla team of experts tells more about what the city is like during the holidays:

Holiday décor and markets

Festive lights illuminate the city in December. They lend a magical ambiance to city streets, and some areas, like the Metropol Parasol, have light shows and music. Even window shopping is a pleasure as stores are decked out in merry gear. You’ll find carolers and musicians lending a festive flair to the scene, while chestnut sellers scent up street corners with roasted aromas. The main decorative element is the nativity scene, belén, and there are many beautiful ones dotted about town. They can get very elaborate, and the most impressive ones even get queues of people lining up to see them.

Christmas markets crop up around the city and are a fun way to get into the festive spirit – and nab some special handmade gifts. All sorts of arts and crafts are sold here, from ceramics to jewelry to toys. The Feria de Artesanía Creativa is a great one to check out for handcrafted items, as is the big market in Plaza Nervión. For belén aficionados, the Feria del Belén features a dizzying array of nativity scene figures and accoutrements.

Inmaculada

The Christmas season officially begins on December 8, the Dia de la Inmaculada Concepción, Feast of the Immaculate Conception. A public holiday across all of Spain, this day is especially big in Seville where it’s a large celebration with processions across town. The Monument of the Immaculate Conception, located by the cathedral, is host to special ceremonies and traditions on this day as well as the night before when groups of tunos serenade around town and gather at midnight to sing by the statue. Tunos are musical bands formed by university students dressed in traditional medieval costumes.

On the day of the Immaculate Conception, Baile de los Seises (Dance of the Sixes) is performed inside the cathedral: a group of 10 choirboys in traditional medieval costumes dance in front of the main altar.

El Gordo

The annual Spanish lottery is a big deal throughout the country. El Gordo (the Fat One), which is also called the Lotería de Navidad, is the biggest lottery in the world and one of the longest-running ones. Nearly everyone gets involved, and as tickets are expensive (€200), many get together to buy one – families, clubs, organizations, work colleagues, or even whole villages all pitch in. There’s no single jackpot, but many chances to win – and odds of winning at least something are high. Last year’s prize money totaled €2.38 billion, while the top individual prize was €4 million.

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🎄Рождественская лотерея🎄 💰Более 200 лет новогодняя лотерея это один из важных праздников в Испании. 💰Продажа лотереи начинается в августе, стоимость десятой части билета 20 евро, соответственно полный билет 200 евро, т.к это дорого покупку делают коллективно (семья, соседи, коллеги по работе) 💰Главная премия составляет 4 млн евро. И много других премий🙊 Не плохо же? 💰Пожалуй, нет ни одной испанской семьи, 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦которая бы не участвовала в этом событии. Вообще испанцы любители всевозможных лотерей. 💰Проходит розыгрыш очень торжественно 22 декабря с Мадридского театра и транслируется в прямом эфире. Шарики с выигрышными номерами вытаскивают💏 дети из крутящегося барабана и пропевают вслух цифры. 💰По завершению розыгрыша все выходят на улицу, открывают шампанское 🍾и поздравляют счастливчиков.🤝 💰Да, кстати если хотите поучаствовать, можно купить билеты по интернету. ❓А вдруг повезет❓ #loteriadenavidad #españa #налобина_текстпокопирайтингу #сила_текста4 #

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Things get exciting in December as the anticipation builds to the big reveal. Lottery kiosks and stands are busy, and it’s common to see people queuing up on long lines to buy their chance at wealth. The winner is announced on December 22 during a live three-hour ceremony and everyone tunes in to watch. The winning numbers are sung out by students from Madrid’s San Ildefonso school.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

La Nochebuena, Christmas Eve, is an evening of feasting with family. Many bars and restaurants are closed for the night, so if you’re in town, you’ll have to make some other plans for this special day. (Pro tip: many hotel restaurants serve a special Christmas Eve dinner, but make sure you reserve in advance!) Dinner lasts late into the night and includes an array of dishes such as roasted lamb, suckling pig, and seafood. Most people tune in to watch the king’s annual speech, which is broadcast on all channels.

Christmas day is a low-key affair in comparison. Some kids receive small gifts, but most presents are reserved for Epiphany in January.

Sweets

‘Tis the season for turrón! This typical sweet is omnipresent during the holiday season – you’ll see it displayed in supermarkets, artisanal shops, and pastelerías — stands of it stacked with packages in a range of flavors and budgets. This almond nougat of Moorish origins is made of roasted almonds (or other nuts, but almonds are most traditional), egg whites, and honey, but it comes in many different flavors that add other ingredients into the mix. There are two different types of turron: the hard and brittle turrón duro or turron de Alicante, and the soft and chewy turron blando or turron de Jijona.

Other typical sweets that make an appearance during the holidays include marzipan figurines, mazapanes, and mantecados, crumbly shortbread cookies made with lard. These cookies, with their almost powdery texture, melt in your mouth. They come in many flavors, like cinnamon, almond, and chocolate.

New Year’s Eve

Nochevieja throughout all of Spain is celebrated by eating 12 grapes at midnight – one for each bell chime – and making a wish for the new year with each bite. People gather in main squares to await the countdown, cup of grapes and bottle of cava in hand. Afterwards, the revelry lasts until the morning.

Epiphany

January 6th is the much-awaited Día de los Reyes Magos celebrating the Three Wise Men’s arrival in Bethlehem. It’s the most beloved day of the year by kids, who eagerly await all of the festivities and gifts they will receive from the Kings. The celebrations begin the day before, when a giant, six-hour long procession takes over the city, the Calbagata de Reyes Magos. Elaborate floats parade through the streets and shower spectators with candy, who bring umbrellas just for the occasion, catching caramelos into them.

The next day, families eat a traditional King Cake, Roscón de Reyes, a ring-shaped cake topped with candied fruit and hiding a surprise inside. Whoever finds the small plastic figurine (usually of a king or baby Jesus) gets to be king for the day! Some also hide a fava bean in the cake, and whoever has the misfortune of finding that has to buy the next year’s roscón.

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