Christmas kicks off in Malaga this Friday evening from 6.30pm. The Christmas lights around the city centre will be officially switched on at 7.30pm. The main lights in Calle Larios are inspired by Malaga cathedral, featuring replicas of the domes, arches, and stained glass windows. The spectacular structure has been put up by the Ximenez illumination company. In total, 1,806,679 light bulbs have been installed around Malaga, with eight additional streets being decorated this year. There is also an 18-metre-high “tree” made of 59,940 LED lights in the Plaza de la Constitución.
According to the councillor for festivals and services in Malaga, Teresa Porras, the lights in Malaga have cost around 800,000 euros. However she described the Christmas lights as something which “generates jobs and economic movement”, as they attract tourists to Malaga to do their Christmas shopping and eat out. Porras does not believe there will be any negative impact on the local businesses, she points out “the more people that come, the more they will sell”.
To further encourage people to do their Christmas shopping in the city centre, the light and sound show from last year will take place again. In the run-up to Christmas, at 6.30 and 9.30pm people in the centre of Malaga will hear ‘Feliz Navidad’ by Boney M, ‘Christmas Festival’ by the Boston Pops Orchestra, and ‘Wizards in Winter’ by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra played for two to three minutes as the 'cathedral' of ilghts in Calle Larios flash in time.
The Christmas lights switch-on has become a busy event in Malaga; according to Teresa Porras, a few years ago the illumination would be attended by just a handful of people. “We wanted to create something that people would want to come to. So we thought up the lights spectacle in the Plaza de la Constitución; it was a huge success, and since then, more and more people have come. Now everyone in Malaga takes part in the switching on of the Christmas lights”.