VALENCIA AT CHRISTMAS
VALENCIA AT CHRISTMAS TIME
• Valencia becomes alive with the spirit of
Christmas with its exquisite decorations and
stunning lighting. The council decorates its
gardens of seasonal flowers and makes sure
that all the shops and business participate in the
season and placing red carpets at the entrance,
special packaging and having the traditional
Christmas “lotes” where people can buy raffle
tickets. It is not only the sights that make it
Christmas but also the smells including “Turron”,
roast chestnuts and almonds.
• The city is full of street markets.
• The circus also comes to town and it is traditional for the parents to
take the children to see the wonderful specticle.
• The tradition of the Nativity Display dates back to 1223 when San
Francisco of Asís placed a display of the Baby Jesus and the
donkey in their setting amongst some caves. It is tradition that
continues to the present day with people placing nativity scenes in
their houses amongst their other decorations. In Valencia they
place an extremely beautiful scenes called “Belén Monumenetal”
that the Council places in the”Plaza del Ayuntamiento” from
approximately the 17th December until the 7th January. Additionally
schools also places a large nativity display around the same times.
• Of course, Valencia would not be Valencia
without a bit of gunpowder! On New Years
Day there is the best “Mascletà” of the
year which takes place in the Plaza
Ayuntamiento. On Christmas eve all the
churches hold a special mass which is
called “Misa del Gallo” and this takes
place al 12 o’clock midnight and they sing
the traditional Christmas hymns and
• Don’t forget your grapes as at New Year at 12
midnight it is traditional to pop a grape when the
bell tolls. For the children, the presents are
usually received on Christmas Day like in
England but over here one special present is
withheld to be given by the Three Wise Kings
from the Orient. This is on the 6th of January. At
this time floats fill the streets along with the
Three Kings and their group of workers. They
throw sweets to all the children as well as
footballs and other small toys etc.
A TRADITIONAL SPANISH CHRISTMAS
These are found in the supermarkets and are
wrapped in paper. They are flour based with many
varieties including coconut, cinnamon and
chocolate. They are fun to eat but can be a bit
messy if you don’t know the trick! Firstly (and with
the paper on), squash and compact them in your
hands. Then you can eat them and they will not
crumble all over the place.
Traditions has it that on New Years Eve, when the
bells toll midnight you pop a grape in your mouth with
every “dong”. This sounds easy and is for the first four
and five but after that it starts getting more difficult and
if that wasn’t bad enough, after, the 12 grape you have
to shout “Feliz Año Nuevo”. This is the point where
most of the grapes come flying out! The grapes are
often accompanied with a glass of cava to wash them
down and ring in the New Year.
ROSCÓN DE REYES
This is a ring of sweet bread which is decorated on top
with crystallised fruit and sugar with a paper crown on
top. Some of them are also halved and filled with
cream. These are eaten to celebrate the day of Reyes
but be careful as there is a surprise in everyone!
Hidden inside there is a bean and a king. Whoever
gets the slice with the king. Whoever gets the slice with
the king has to wear the crown and has good luck for
the year. However, if you are the one who has the slice
with the bean, then you have to buy the Roscon the
El Turrón is similar to our nougat.
However, in Spain there are many
varieties from chocolate to almond and
honey. The handmade Turrones are
unbeatable and it is worth paying the
extra. They are usually brought out
after dinner along with the coffees and
often are accompanied with
On Christmas the Spanish celebrate with a
large family dinner. On the table you can
expect to see all the traditional Spanish treats
including special cheeses, embutidos (cold
meats) and normally they cook lamb.
However, very traditional are the prawns and
the table would not be complete without the
seafood. Normally all types of prawns are
placed on the grill and then enjoyed by
This is a little party bag that provides
everything you need to welcome in the New
Year. Many bars and restaurants supply
these free of charge and the host of a party
will provide one for all their guests. They
contain party hats, balloons, streamers, party
poppers and hooters.
HONEY ROAST TURKEY
PAVO CON MIEL
3.5-4.0 KG. TURKEY
75 GMS, BUTTER- SOFTENED
45ML CLEAR HONEY
SALT & BLACK PEPPER
100 gms. Fresh breadcrumbs small
onion chopped finely half tsp. Dried
100 gms chesnuts – chopped
Stock to mix.
1. Place the turkey in a large roasting
tin. Mix the butter & honey together
& spread over the turkey.
2. Roast at 190c (375) for 2.5 to 3
hrs. basting regularly. To test if
ready insert a sharp knife into the
thigh joint & check juices run clear.
3. Cover with foil and rest for at least
1. Saute the onions & sage in a little butter or
2. Put breadcrumbs, chestnuts in a mixing bowl,
add onion mixture. Mix well and bring to a ball
with the stock, adding a little at a time.
3. Shape into with your hands or use an ice
cream scoop. Place on an lightly oiled baking
sheet and cook for 20 mins along with your
• These can also be made in advance and
put in the freezer – will take about an hour
to thaw, then cook as above.
• Pour the juices from the turkey into
saucepan, stir in 2 tbsps. Plain flour &
cook over a low heat for 1 min. gradually
add 500ml. Of the liquid from the
vegetables – 2 tbsps. Redcurrant jelly and
a glass of red wine. Salt & pepper. Bring to
the boil, simmer for 3-4 mins. Serve in a
warm gravy boat.
COM CELEBREM EL NADAL EN
L’ARBRE DE NADAL
EL PARE NOEL
• Y PARA TERMINAR LAS
FIESTAS SE CELEBRA
LA GRAN CABALGATA
DE LOS REYES