St George's Church fair. / SUR

The Costa del Sol is a melting pot of cultures and Christmas is no exception

Christmas. Malaga's foreign community brings its own festive traditions and gastronomy and combines them with Spanish customs

JENNIE RHODES

Christmas market, bazaar, fair or fayre; call it what you will, the international community along the Costa del Sol is pulling out all the stops this year to make sure there's plenty of Christmas spirit, after a disappointing 2020.

Just like the Costa itself, the Christmas season is a coming together of the different traditions celebrated by the nationalities that make up its international community.

Many of the events combine the traditional festive German market with the age-old British bazaar, many of which have a healthy dose of Spanish villancicos (Christmas carols) and Zambomba (traditional Malaga instrument played at this time of year) thrown in for good measure.

The Costa's first bazaar took place in Calahonda on 20 November at Club La Naranja and others have followed, including a German-style market in Los Boliches and the at St George's Anglican Church fair took place last Sunday.

Now we're in December and there is a market, bazaar or fair taking place in almost every town and village along the coast and inland throughout the month.

Puente don Manuel's Christmas Fayre is taking place at the Tu Punto de Encuentro Asador this morning while the Torrox international market is also starting today and running until Wednesday 8 December (see What To Do and the advertisement for further information).

Cómpeta's Christmas market will be raising funds for Cudeca from 10am on Sunday 4 December and for anyone in Malaga city this weekend, the Nuevos Futuros market is on at the Palacio de Congresos from 4 until 8 December.

Over the border in Granada, Almuñécar's international residents are holding a market from 10 to 12 December on Plaza de la Constitución.

Alcaucín and Periana have both gone with 'fayre', with the former holding its event on Saturday 11 at the Puente don Manuel crossroads, from 11am to 2pm, while Periana's will be on 12 December from 10am to 2pm. That pan-European Christmas tipple, mulled wine (or glühwein in German), will be served and there's a raffle in aid of the local Red Cross and the Asociación Esperanza breast cancer charity.

It's not too late to find a Christmas event on the other side of Malaga, as Arroyo de la Miel's sixth Christmas festival will be happening on 13, 14 and 15 December on Plaza de la Mezquita.

On Friday 17 December Lux Mundi Torre del Mar will be holding a Christmas coffee morning' with mince pies and Christmas decorations for sale and the Pianista del Carmen bar in Vélez-Málaga will be holding a Christmas market from 1pm, with the Jingle Belles choir providing Christmas songs.

Hopefully after all of that, there'll still be room for some turkey, prawns, red cabbage or stollen on the 24 or 25 or whichever day and in whichever way Christmas is celebrated in your family.