Madrid, Spain is just magical in December. At this time of the year, the whole city spruces up, illuminates, and sparkles, what with all the holidays decors, trees, and xmas lights put up in many streets, avenues, and plazas. Weekends during this month means crowded shops and malls, plazas and streets overflowing with people, and restaurants and cafes filled to the brim.
Likewise, you can expect many Yuletide-related activities and events to happen, many of which would culminate on Christmas day, or by the end on the year, or at the latest, on the Feast of the Three Kings.
Madrid, Spain: Ciudad de Las Ferias de Navidid
Come Christmastime, Madrid becomes the city of fairs, and all things related to the merry season.
In instance, you can treat yourself to an interesting “feria” (especially if you’re an antiquarian) called the Almoneda at IFEMA Feria de Madrid which happens twice a year. The December fair, which is near Camp Naciones Station, offers an impressive display of antique items, paintings and other art pieces, and rare collectibles. The fair promotes its items as holiday gifts. Entrance to the Almoneda is free.
Another ongoing fair in Madrid is the Feria Mercado de Artesania de la Comunidad de Madrid at Plaza de España. It’s a free-entrance fair that started last December 10, 2016 and will end in January 5, 2017. The event is all about craftman and artisan items originating not only from the Communidad de Madrid but other autonomous Spanish regions. The fair is right within the area of Plaza de Espana, and so, it’s very accessible. The best way to get there is via the Metro (Lineas 3 and 10), where you get off at Plaza de Espana Station.
Navideña Feria Internacional de las Culturas at Matadero, Madrid
Known as one of Madrid’s main centers for the culture and arts, Matadero, Madrid at Barrio Legazpi acts as the host of this year’s Navideña Feria Internacional de las Culturas. (Christmas International Cultural Fair). Various exciting and fun activities are scheduled to happen on the different facilities at the center and are meant for everyone of all ages to experience and enjoy this season.
Thru Navideña, Matadero Madrid gives Madrilenos and tourists the chance to make the most of the holiday season and enjoy a wide variety of entertaining activities such as movies, theater plays, exhibitions, workshops for kids, readings, art workshops, and so much more.
International Bazaar at Plaza de Matadero
Highly-awaited at the Navidena is the bazaar that involves the participation of the majority of embassies in Spain. All are assigned stands or kiosks that effectively serve as a platform where they can present and promote their country in the best way possible. I believe this is one of the most attended and liveiest fairs in the city because of the large number of participants to the event, which is more or less 75 countries.
Other Fun-Filled Navidena Activities
Apart from being able to enjoy roaming around a unique bazaar, have a taste and experience of various foods and cultural traditions from 75 or so countries, people are afforded various other fun activities in the event.
Every day, from december 15 to the 23th, different performances and events are scheduled to happen; such as cooking demos, film showing, concerts, cultural and traditional dances, plays, and more food tasting. The children are treated to story-telling, teatro infantil, anime cartoons, and so much more.
Just some of the many activities and the sites where they happen are as follows: the BID16 exhibition, a Latin show of modern designs, at Central de Diseno; a collective exhibit called El Ranchito-Rusia at Nave 16; toddler and children’s activity workshops at Casa del Lector; and engaging films to be shown throughout the duration of the feria at Cinetaca.
As promised by the event organizers, the event is meant to make the people understand and appreciate Christmas more. And as the current site of the event, Matadero Madrid welcomes everyone to witness and experience all performances, activities, and events, all of which will focus on “La Navidad”.
For a complete list of activities and corresponding schedules, you may refer to the Navidena Feria’s Official Website.
The kiosks of the embassies are located at the Plaza Matadero, the area in front of the Nave 16
Day one at Matadero: 6 in the afternoon, yet only a few visitors roam the area — it must be the bad weather
Many children’s activities such as storytelling, storytelling and various workshops are held at the Casa del Lector
Once the Yuletide decors were lit, this helped liven up the Yuletide spirit at the Plaza Matadero
The kiosks of Israel and Finland. Navideña is aptly called “cultural” because of the participation of various countries
Big smiles from the staff and officers of the Philippine Embassy to Madrid as they gamely pose for the camera
Colombia keeps a jeep filled with sacks of coffee beans near its kiosk — one of the impressive displays at the Navidena
The evening at the fair made brighter and more Christmassy by the holiday string lights
Cineteca schedules excellent quality films in time for the Christmas fair
The crowd intently watch a martial arts exhibition at Plaza Matadero, Day 2 of La Navidena
Exhibition called BID16 is ongoing at Central de Diseño, showcasing Latino modern designs
Sunflowers, stems and all drape from the ceiling of one of the halls, a Basurama exhibit that started last September and is still ongoing to become a part of the fair. The site was once a freezer and storage, a huge one at that; this was when the place was still a slaughterhouse
Do come with your family and kids while the event is still on. With a great variety of fun and exciting things to see and do in Navidena Fair, it will surely make your Christmas this year a lot more special.
Name of activity: Navideña Feria Internacional de las Culturas
Duration: From December 15, 2016 to December 23, 2106
Time open to the public: 12PM to 9PM
Site of Activity: Matadero, Madrid (Ride the Metro, Linea Circular and get off at Legazpi)