A Tenerife Christmas is a wonderful experience. It is possible to spend the morning of Christmas Day throwing snowballs and making snowmen on Mount Teide, and the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and watching the palm trees swaying gently in the sea breeze on one of Tenerife’s stunning beaches.
The towns and villages in Tenerife have at least one beautifully designed nativity display. Some are small while others have a lot of detail in them. Shared by each one is the time and thought that has gone into creating them. Keep your eye out for ‘El Caganer’, which literally means ‘The Crapper’. This is a figure which is in the squatting position. See who can spot him first!
The main towns and areas know how to decorate for a Tenerife Christmas with many twinkling fairy lights strung through the streets, and sweet smelling christmas trees adorned with baubles and sparkling tinsel. You will also hear the relaxing sound of carols being sung.
Christmas Eve is a family affair in Tenerife with shops and restaurants closing early, though many do stay open in the larger resorts such as Playa de las Américas and Costa Adeje. In these areas, in the south of Tenerife, you can find Christmas Eve parties in some bars and nightclubs. The British bars are always lively on this night!
Christmas Eve in the northern areas such as Puerto de la Cruz are more peaceful, so it’s advised to eat early if there, and then join the Spanish for Midnight Mass (Misa de Gallo).
If you want to enjoy a traditional Christmas Day dinner this is also possible with many restaurants and bars in the larger resorts offering a special Christmas Day menu. Don’t forget to reserve a table in advance as it can get quite busy.
Restaurants decorate for Christmas. Notice the upside down Christmas tree!
The festive season in Tenerife lasts longer than usual as children first receive their presents on the 6th January after the arrival of the Three Kings the evening before.
Even the dogs enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit!
If you are in Tenerife on the 28th of December, beware! This is the Day of the Innocents, a day much like our own April Fools Day. There will be many practical jokes, and don’t believe a word anyone tells you, or what you read in a Spanish newspaper on this day.
One last thing to mention, is to be sure of trying the traditional Christmas treat called Turrón. It is made of honey, egg and almonds and is very tasty.
Father Christmas also enjoys a holiday break in Tenerife.
Text and photos by Lynne Knightley
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