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 Daily news from the Canaries and the islands' biggest English language newspaper on-line
Daily news from the Canaries and the islands
   Daily news from the Canaries and the islands' biggest English language newspaper on-line

Peace on Earth
Festive spirit for the Canary Islands
As we truly enter the festive period, the islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria are in full preparation for the season.

Christmas lights in the capital
Christmas lights in the capital

03.12.2015 - Santa Cruz in Tenerife is already looking splendid following the official turning on of the Christmas lights: More than 1.3 million energy-efficient LED lamps (accounting for about about 95 per cent of all the light bulbs used) are shining down on the streets and squares of the capital this year.  

Over 150 exciting activities have also been organised for the metropolitan area during the

period, which in Spain and the Canaries runs until January 5 - plenty to occupy the whole family and fill the city with life and joy until Epiphany.  In addition to the lighting and entertainment, 50,171 typically coloured poinsettias - with green and red or white leaves - will add to the festive spirit.  Although poinsettias often grow as tall as trees at the roadsides on the Canary Islands, they are used as houseplants here and in northern Europe as harbingers of the Christmas season.  Many local councils also decorate their streets, squares and gardens with the pretty seasonal plants, and Santa Cruz is no exception.  Mayor José Manuel Bermúdez planted the first one in the city himself, accompanied by a group of schoolchildren.  He said "We want to sow the seeds now, so that the children learn that they need to take care of the city’s environment and decorations.  The children were full of enthusiasm at the planting."  He is sure that young children and adolescents who are involved in city life this way will be more inclined to protect it and to not carelessly destroy it with vandalism.  After the symbolic planting, nine people have been very busy distributing the plants throughout the city across tubs, parks and gardens to ensure that Santa Cruz looks as merry as possible. 
Meanwhile, the festive culture is also in full swing in the south of Gran Canaria.  The highlight of the year is the Christmas Market in the Hotel Maritim Playa, which is already taking place, for the seventh time – and over 3,000 people visited the market on its opening day.

Santa arrived early this year too: large and small guests are welcomed by Father Christmas, who plays a traditional lyre, at the entrance.  The market, situated nicely by the pool and surrounded by decorated palm trees, is where everyone wants to be to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.  On the stands you’ll find delicious mulled wine, cookies, sugared almonds, a tasty spit roast and of course Christmas wreaths, ceramics, woodcarvings and Canarian crafts.  To make sure everyone is in a festive mood there’s also Christmas music provided on a small stage.

Every weekend the craft stalls are changed, so that people can look forward to new surprises when they visit again.  The Christmas Market at the Hotel Maritim Playa in Playa del Inglés, Gran Canaria, is open daily from 4pm to 10pm until December 20.

Gallery: Festive spirit for the Canary Islands
Christmas lights in the capital 
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