Christmas in Tenerife, just like in Britain, is a family occasion. Like in mainland Spain, the main Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas Eve. This consists of a great variety of tapas, a soup made of meat and vegetables called ‘Escudella Nadal’, and a main course of beef, chicken, or lamb, served with potatoes and salad. Because Tenerife is so popular with British people, hotels and some restaurants also provide a traditional turkey and ham dinner. The Christmas Eve meal can last up to two or three hours. Nochebuena (Good Night) is the Spanish word for Christmas Eve. The day after Christmas is not a public holiday, so everywhere is open.
The dessert menu includes turron, which is an almond nougat, and cakes called ormantecados. Wine is served with dinner, with islands known for their 10 wine Denominations of Origin. After dinner drinks include Spanish brandy or Cuarenta y Tres. British holiday makers can experience the traditions of Tenerife in luxurious surroundings on this exquisite volcanic island with cheap flights Tenerife available from Jet2.com.
Midnight Mass – Misa de Gallo
The midnight Mass on Tenerife is called the Mass of the Rooster, Misa de Gallo because there is a belief that Jesus was first seen by a rooster. After the service, the church crowd pours onto the streets and musicians play their guitars and sing. This is known as El Baile del Nino or the dance of the child.
Dia de Navidad – Christmas Day
On Christmas Day there are nativity scenes and Christmas Day markets. The Tenerife Symphony Orchestra conducts an open air concert in Santa Cruz. People have Christmas trees and Christmas decorations. The Poinsettia, which is known as the Flor de Nochebuena (flower of Christmas Eve) is used extensively in decorations. There is no Santa Clause in Tenerife. Instead, the three Kings (Los Tres Reyes Magos), bring presents on January 6. Children on Tenerife send letters to the Three Kings telling them how good they have been, just like British children let Santa know how well behaved they have been.
Santa Cruz and La Ortova
Santa Cruz has live music, which includes choir singing on the streets throughout the Christmas period and the trees and streets are festooned with multicoloured sparkling lights, creating a magical Christmas atmosphere. La Ortova has great Christmas decorations with a life-sized crib and figures (belen) in front of the town hall. The visitor really could not ask for a better Christmas atmosphere anywhere else in the world.