Okay, so first thing’s first: not everyone celebrates Christmas on the Costa del Sol. Or in Spain, for that matter. Or worldwide. However, it is considered by over two billion people in more than 160 countries to be the most important holiday of the year; in some western nations regardless of race or religion.

Besides, in many countries, this time of the year has become synonymous with work Christmas parties, the amusing exchange of “Secret Santa” gifts between friends, city streets adorned with lights and, for children, excitement surrounding the impending arrival of Saint Nick.

While all of these things, as well as the ritualistic present-giving and excesses of Christmas Day, will be celebrated in many countries including the UK and in North America, it’s worth considering how people of various other nationalities will be spending the festive season.

After all, Málaga province’s Costa del Sol is a metaphorical melting pot of different peoples from all over the globe, all with their own cultures and customs.

Christmas on the Costa del Sol & elsewhere in the world: Spain

In Spanish tradition, for example, the main celebration at this time of year is Three Kings Day – or Día de los Reyes Magos – which falls on 6th January annually. Although a rising proportion of families are also observing Christmas nowadays (in many cases to appease their kids’ desire for two days of receiving presents), 6th January is a Spanish national holiday where families head out to watch the Three Kings parade, give presents and eat the cream-centred seasonal delicacy roscón (pictured above).

On the topic of food, the Germans traditionally serve up roast goose or roast carp for their yuletide dinner, which would either be on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, depending on the region. Not limited to just these delicacies, suckling pig or duck might also be on the festive menu, so there’s a bit of something for everyone!

All this meat or fish – plus all the trimmings and accompaniments, of course – are typically complimented by glühwein (arguably the most authentic and nicest mulled wine) in Germany as well as in neighbouring Austria, doing a great job of warming the cockles of the heart amidst the harsh northern winters.

Christmas on the Costa del Sol & elsewhere: Finland

Farther north still, the Finns certainly know how to put on a spread. The traditional food platter served at Christmas is called Joulupöytä, whose protagonist is usually a big hunk of ham, enjoyed with mustard and bread. This photo above (courtesy of www.finland.fi) is an example of what you might see at a Finnish dinner table this Christmas.

In some French households, likewise, there will not be a turkey in sight. Christmas Eve night into early Christmas Day is the main feast – called Réveillon – and the food definitely compliments the archetypal romantic gastronomical perception many people have of the French. Oysters, foie gras, lobster, venison and cheeses are just some festive gourmet treats in France.

Wherever you are enjoying Christmas this year, all of us at VIVA wish you a fantastic festive season and felices fiestas! Eat, drink and be merry… and don’t forget to check out our brand-new website www.yourVIVA.com for the best property viewing experience on the Costa del Sol!