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Thousands cram into Malaga city centre to see the Christmas lights

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Calle Larios. / MIGUE FERNÁNDEZ

  • Actor Antonio Banderas flicked the switch on Friday night for a spectacle with focal points in Calle Larios, Alcazabilla and Alameda Principal

Malaga's Christmas lights came on last Friday night amid much anticipation as tens of thousands of people watched with their mobile phones held high to record the moment.

The event had a celebrity touch this year as actor Antonio Banderas switched on the lights from a stage at the end of the central Calle Larios, accompanied by the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, and the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre.

The actor, currently starring in the show A Chorus Line in his Malaga theatre, said he was happy to be asked to flick the switch as this was his only chance to see the event. "I would never have been able to see this in person," he said. Before leaving for his performance that evening, Banderas added: "This is my city and I'm going to work for it with all my heart."

The switch-on was followed by a performance by Blas Cantó, the singer who will represent Spain in next year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Different spectacles

This year the city's light have three focal points. The first is Calle Larios, turned into a Christmas forest with music and light shows three times every evening.

In Calle Alcazabilla a Christmas tale is told with the help of "videomapping", the projection of images on the façade of the Alzacaba. This performance will also be repeated three times each evening until 5 January.

The light show in Calle Larios will be followed each evening by a story told by an ancient ficus tree in the newly revamped Alameda Principal.

Markets

The Christmas atmosphere is completed with the traditional market in the Paseo del Parque selling pieces for nativity scenes as well as a new market this year in the Plaza de la Marina with stalls selling crafts and local produce such as cheese, olive oil and cakes.