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Christmas traditions here in Valencia are radically different than what you see in the states. It is not the all-consuming passion that you might find at your local Walmart, your grocery store, or even your mailbox (yes, catalogs are STILL printed!). Here, it is ratherlow-key, and although there are plenty of places where you can find the Christmas excitement, you are more likely to find a Belén scene than a Santa tableau. Beléns are nativity scenes, either live or uniquely constructed, and in a town that hosts incredibly creative guilds able to create Las Fallas, some of the scenes are incredible. Plus, the Christmas season is extended until January 6, which is Three Kings’ Day. More on that, gentle readers, after I have experienced the day for myself.

I walked through the city during the day, looking for the kinds of Christmas imagery that I might see in the US, and simply gave up. It’s too different here, but I’m not complaining. There’s plenty to enjoy!

P.S. When you look at the Christmas tree below, note the low construction next to it. That’s a skating rink!

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