Looking to get away this Christmas? Here are some destinations that you may enjoy.
Malta is known for its nativity scenes, or presepju as the locals call it. Barcelona has Three King’s Day (Monday, January 6th 2020) and if you can extend your Christmas holiday to encompass these three days it will be well worth the wait. For those seeking nice warm weather and relaxing on the beach, Honolulu, Hawaii is a great place to kick back and relax this Christmas. Reykjavik, has strange traditions when it comes to Christmas, but that is what makes it so appealing. Aside from the “Yuletide Lads” Reykjavik this time of year has northern lights displays, which add evermore to the festive feel.
Prespju, or nativity scenes, have become an integral part of Christmas festivities in Malta. Each year the residents open their shutters and occasionally even their garage doors, to show-off their “holy crib” confections to the public. Valletta’s downtown is home to a lively Christmas spirit with carolers singing outside the Baroque St. John’s Co-Cathedral during Advent, with a spectacular display of Christmas lights on Republic street.
The wonderful thing about Barcelona during Christmas is Three King’s Day. The evening of January 5th, Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar arrive at the city’s port on the Santa Eulalia with their own ship. Each in bearded and velvet-robed splendor. Cannons are fired, fireworks launched. And when the mayor hands them the keys to the city, the magic of the Magi commences. So they parade through the streets on magnificent floats, which include camels, elephants, giraffes, and dazzling costumes.
While you don your beach shorts and grab a sun-umbrella, Santa Claus is doing the same in Honolulu. Celebrations revolve around the Honolulu City Lights, which is a month long Christmas display with an opening parade, accompanied by live music and a 15 meter tall Christmas tree. What the Aloha State lacks in snow it more than makes up for in festive spirit. “Shaka Santa” is a 6 meter tall figure of Santa. Mr Claus dressed in red shorts and open shirt, standing proudly next to his mu’umu’u-wearing wife, Tutu Mele.
Iceland is known for its peculiar Christmas Celebrations. Among these is the 13 “Yuletide Lads” or Scruffy Santas, which are said to bring gifts to nice children for the 13 night leading up to Christmas day. The Yule Town Christmas market hosts rows of small, beautiful huts on Ingolfstorg square in downtown Reykjavik. This is where tourists can pick up colorful gifts, treats, and decorations. Day to day the shopping varies as some craftsmen and designers set up stalls for only one day.