So, What are New Year and Christmas Like in Nerja?
Christmas is a great time to be in Nerja. Although Dia de los Reyes Magos (Epiphany: Day of the Kings, January 6th) is a bigger event, we have seen Christmas become bigger even as the years pass. Call it progress, call it fashion. However; There are still some great Spanish traditions that are observed.
Spain´s top Christmas traditions
The Nativity or Belen de Navidad
The Christmas tree
Villancicos or Spanish Christmas carols
Christmas sweets (turrón, polvorones and mazapan)
Spanish Christmas Lottery
The 12 grapes on New Years Eve
Roscón de Reyes
The Three Kings
Cesta de Navidad – Christmas basket
When you get a few minutes, you might want to check out this website for a full description of these events.
New Year 2023
New Year’s Eve in Nerja is a splendid affair. I have spent a few great nights bopping away on the Balcòn de Europa. For a few years, we booked a New Year package at one of the restaurants on the Balcòn. This consisted of a 5-course meal with a party pack. We were released into the wild just before midnight with our party packs. These contained a bottle of Cava, a tin of small, peeled grapes, a silly hat, and an annoying thing to blow.
New Year Grapes
The Eating the twelve grapes. Tradition has it that you have to eat them one by one, in time with the striking of the clock at midnight on 31 December. If you manage to eat all the grapes in time, you are in for a year of prosperity and good luck. This is a bit tricky if it is your first time.
The trick is to get the small grapes that come in a tin, these are peeled and very small. I have seen people buying bunches of grapes, some are the size of plums. Watching people trying to swallow them can be quite concerning. For those who manage it, the coming year bodes well. Check out this great website for more about Spain during the festive season.
The Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) usually has a band playing on the Balcòn de Europa and the obligatory Scotsman, complete with kilt and bagpipes, brings in the UK New Year at 01:00 local time (00:00 UK time). I’m sorry, there is no escaping the demon pipes. (As someone who served with both Irish and Scots Guards, I can be forgiven, after all, have you ever been woken at 06:30 by bagpipes?)
The dancing and celebrations usually carry on through the early hours. It is great fun.
Covid-19 the great Spoil-Sport
During the Covid pandemic, such gatherings were forbidden and the celebrations were cancelled. Last year though, we stayed in a lovely apartment on the Gran Plaza de España in the centre of Nerja.
Gran Plaza de España 1 bedroom apartment is ideally located in the centre of Nerja. If you want to be at the heart of everything that is happening, then this is a great place to book. Gran Plaza de España apartment.
I digress: New Year’s Eve 2022 was great fun. Although large gatherings were still restricted and people were asked not to gather on the Balcòn de Europa at midnight; we did. Partying was forbidden: no Cava and no grapes. The local police were on hand to make sure everything was as it should be. The Guardia Civil also came along for the ride.
Slowly but surely, people began to gravitate towards the Balcòn and Tutti Frutti square, shopping bags in hand and looking sheepish. From all around the Church of El Salvador, the square and the Balcòn, corks started popping, people were getting ready to choke themselves on grapes and groups started to form.
True to form, as the bell started to chime in the New Year, the grapes were swallowed (or spat out to prevent foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO) the Cava consumed and people hugged and wished each other all the best for the coming year. The police had nothing to do, everything was a joyous occasion. After all, we had just come through the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu in 1918.
New Year 2023 – Book Now!
This year, if you are thinking of spending Christmas and New Year in Nerja, book early! This is one of the busiest seasons and the accommodation is snapped up. Check out the great self-catering apartments, villas and townhouses available to you from Nerja Beach Holidays.
If you need help with your booking or have questions about the accommodation, please contact NBH and we will be happy to help in any way.
You can connect to Nerja Beach Holidays from this page or call direct.
Whatsapp: (+34) 644 793 168