Christmas in Ibiza
...the Reyes Magos arrive by boat and parade on horses, with trucks full of presents...
Christmas as we know it has become more and more popular in the Ibiza events calendar over the years with the help of the many foreigners living on the island and of course families of mixed cultures. Spanish tradition is to celebrate the 3 Kings which is actually not until the 6th of January, so children with one Spanish parent and one foreign parent living in Ibiza are always the luckiest - they usually celebrate Christmas twice and sometimes even get to open double the presents!
The island decorations, lovely (!) carols blaring from all the plazas, Christmas lights & Christmas trees usually begin at the end of November but the lights are not switched on until the first week of December. The 3 Kings, also known as the 3 Wise Men, visited Baby Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and this has since become a Christian tradition, celebrated all over Spain.
On the evening of the 5th of January, each municipality comes alive and welcomes the Reyes Magos who arrive by boat and then parade through the town on horses, with trucks full of presents for the little ones following behind. Just be careful not to get hit in the eye by flying sweets being thrown into the crowds! The procession is followed through the town, stopping at a Church where the Baby Jesus is blessed, and then onto the main square where everyone huddles together, usually in the rain, and waits for the Magi to call out their names so that they can jump up on the stage and receive their present. As the whole town is watching, these Wise Men generally follow the motto of "the bigger the better" when choosing the presents with the help of the parents! The 6th of January is of course a fiesta, so hungover parents may rest and over-excited children can enjoy playing with all the new gifts.
Christmas Markets and fairs are popular here. Many of the smaller bars and restaurants have their own fairs with tombola’s, raffles and delicious Christmas snacks as well as products from England that you can´t normally find in Ibiza. The English Speaking Church of Ibiza And Formentera always has their own fair too, with a visit from Santa and great bring & buy sales. The Las Dalias Christmas Market has been running for many years now and is always a wonderful place to pick up gifts and really get into the Christmas spirit with the help of their well-known mulled wine!
The Vara del Rey in Ibiza Town also magically changes into a beautiful winter wonderland with colourful Christmas decorations on every stall and a huge Christmas tree down at the end of the walkway. Great food is a big part of Christmas in Ibiza wherever you are, and many restaurants have fabulous set menus just for Christmas and New Years´ Eve celebrations.
So, dig out your silliest Christmas hat, scarf and boots and welcome in the Christmas spirit in Ibiza with us. Keep an eye on our events page for all the cultural festive events in Ibiza, concerts, special Christmas menus and parties coming up... and if you haven´t begun your Christmas shopping yet, don´t worry, shops are open normal hours right up to Christmas Eve.
Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo a todos, or as we say here in Ibiza, Molts Anys I Bons!