While some dream nostalgically of a White Christmas, I believe a Christmas in the sun is just as enchanting. So, forget about that White Christmas because, in Tenerife, we celebrate Christmas under palm trees, with plenty of sun and a unique Christmas atmosphere.
A Christmas Paradise for all senses
Throughout the island, we embrace Christmas with warmth and cheer. Hotels, shopping centers, and bustling streets transform into a true Christmas paradise, adorned with sparkling decorations, impressive (fake) Christmas trees, and festively decorated palm trees.
Life-size belenes (cribs) play a pivotal role in Canarian culture. Spread across the island, they bring the Christmas story to life, creating a magical atmosphere. Meanwhile, cheerful Christmas music fills the air, and the delightful aroma of roasted chestnuts wafts through.
In the Canary Islands, good food is a priority 365 days a year, and at Christmas, we take it up a notch with polvorones, turrón, Canary cheese, and jamón serrano.
The main course usually features a delectable mix of roast pork leg, marinated goat meat, and rabbit in Salmorejo sauce. Fish enthusiasts will appreciate Christmas classics like cod and cherne, served with papas arrugadas and mojo sauce.
For dessert, trucha de batata, is the pièce de résistance. This translates to 'sweet potato trout,' but it has nothing to do with fish. It's a delicacy of puff pastry filled with sweet potato, lemon, almond, egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, and anise.
All of this is, of course, accompanied by the finest local wines, many of which have been recognized with awards in Tenerife.
Key Dates to Remember
Christmas kicks off on December 22 with the national Christmas lottery—an event not to be missed in Spain. Read more about it in this blog so that you can be prepared in time for next year.
Unlike many northern countries, the most significant day of Christmas is Nochebuena, Holy Eve, on December 24. This is when families and friends come together for a delightful meal. Keep in mind that bars and restaurants often close a bit earlier on this date, allowing staff to celebrate this special evening with their families.
In Spain, it's not a common tradition to exchange presents during Christmas. This privilege is reserved for the Three Kings, celebrated on January 6.
Merry Christmas and…¡Hasta pronto!