For the last 30 years or more, Plaza Mayor has been home to a Christmas market with over a 100 stalls that sell all sorts of things: miniature statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary; novelty gift-wrapping material; carnival accessories like tinsel wigs, rainbow wigs, Afro wigs, assorted head-boppers, mad glasses with flashing lights or with eyes springing out — the list is endless. I think the carnival stuff, although sold pre-Christmas and worn throughout the festival, is mainly for New Year’s Eve.
Go there after 6pm pre or post Christmas and Plaza Mayor is a jolly circus of people of all sexualities and walks of life frolicking around the area being merry, encompassing and radiating the joy of Christmas in the capital. There is a great video that captures this spirit, you can check it out here.
Needless to say, there is Christmas activity all over the city, but Paseo Castellana, which is the business high-street of Madrid is one of special interest. It’s decorated with lights and huge sparkling Christmas trees, all so magnificent that there is a special bus that takes you along the route just to see them all. Also this year, 60 international artists have sculpted structures from ice that represent Madrid like the Puerta de Alcala, or the Santiago Bernabeu football stadium.
It’s cold here but not excruciating so everyone’s on the streets in holiday mode — it’s a great time to be in Madrid.