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July 3, 2022, 10:06 am
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Winter in Spain: A Great Time to Explore Murcia and Local Traditions

There’s nothing like winter in Spain. Besides the fantastic weather it is a great time to explore Murcia and local traditions.

Unlike the colder and wetter parts in the north, the Murcia Region of Spain enjoys mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine, with a perfect combination of sea, lowlands, and mountains to suit everyone’s taste. By winter the crowds have thinned and the beachgoers will probably have packed away their swimming costumes but it’s high season for golf, cycling, and hiking.

Bélens Galore!

Winter also coincides with a prolonged period of fiestas that embraces several unique Christmas and New Year traditions. From the beginning of December, the cities and towns drape themselves in colorful lights so an evening or nighttime tour is well worth it. You will also notice grand nativity scenes, known as bélens, constructed in public spaces and in shop windows. They are elaborate constructions with lots of amazing detail which includes whole rural landscapes that reflect the traditional nativity scenes but lookout for some more local content too. Don’t miss out on the Christmas markets especially the huge market in the City of Murcia which has artisan crafts from across the region.

Christmas With a Twist

Christmas traditions in Spain itself are also quite different. Spanish families may get together for a late dinner on Christmas eve, seafood is a particular favorite, but will wait until the 6th of January (Three Kings Day) for their ‘Big’ Christmas celebrations as it is the Three Kings that are responsible for the presents around here! Provided of course you leave an old shoe out. To kick off the visit of the Three Kings there are many celebrations involving colorful processions and parades across the region. Cartagena brings the three Kings into the City by boat which is special in itself but most towns will see the three Kings out and about handing out sweets to children.

The traditional “Christmas cake” is the beloved Roscón de Reyes, a sweet bread ring topped with almonds, sweets, and whipped cream is typically eaten on this day. You can’t miss it going into the shops! Mind the small figurine in the cake or you’ll be responsible for getting it next year.

Summer may be all about fun and the sun but winter in Spain holds its own magic. It can still top 20 °C (65.1 °F) so there is no reason not to enjoy the great outdoors or hang out in your local plaza. And yes, the weather and mood this time of year are perfect for house hunting!

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