Here we look at how the different communities in Gran Canaria celebrate Christmas.
Our sunny island of Gran Canaria is the melting pot home to an international group of sun seekers, each of whom has brought their own culture, customs, and traditions to their new home.
At Christmas time, this coming together of nationalities has created an inevitable fusion of influences a bit like the Yuletide star himself – Santa Claus.
Living in Lapland with Mrs Claus, Father Christmas is based on a mix of European pagan and Christian customs and traditions. However, the modern version of Santa Claus with his red and white dress is really an American creation, promoted and embellished by the modern marketing machine and increasingly adopted by different cultures alongside their more established festive characters.
While the British just have Santa Claus, our Canarian hosts and the other main ex pat communities, Germans and Scandinavians, receive presents from not only Mr Claus but their own more traditional gift bearers too.
The Germans have “Weihnachtmann”, the white night man and Kriskind, a cherubic representation of the baby Jesus who brings gifts to good children or a bundle of twigs to the naughty ones.
In Scandinavian countries, a mischievous elf or gnome brings the goodies to the well behaved. The Yule elf is called Jultomten in Sweden, Julesvenn in Norway, and Julenissen in Denmark and Norway.
Though in recent years more Canarian children receive one or two gifts from Santa Claus on Christmas day they still have to wait two weeks – till the feast of the Epiphany – before they receive the bulk of their gifts.
On the 6th of January, the three wise kings (los reyes magos), Caspar, Balthasar, and Melchior arrive flying over the rooftops on their trusty camels to deliver toys and goodies to lucky children who have behaved throughout the year or a lump of coal to naughty ones.
For more information on Anfi’s special Christmas programme contact our friendly staff at the Anfi Vacation Club on (+34) 928 062 444 : email@example.com