Niacka Carty: Christmas Spirit in Madrid

niacka29Madrid is undeniably in the Christmas spirit. There are bands playing Christmas music on the streets, in metro stations and inside the trains. The Christmas decorations in Madrid are beautiful! I noticed that the city was preparing for Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. There are not many where I live compared to the tourist areas. However, in my neighborhood there are polar bears and a sled set up that is lit at night. This is ironically placed in front of the non-Spanish restaurants.

As one gets closer and closer to the Gran Vía, there is of course a lot to see. Because of where I am located, I first pass the Palacio de Cibeles “Cybele Palace,” or formerly known as The Palace of Communication in order to enter Gran Vía. It is also exciting to see what the Christmas decorations will for the Palacio de Cibeles, considering that it is of high importance. There is a grand fountain placed in the center of the roundabout where the Palace is located. It was formerly the headquarters of the postal service and today it is now the Madrid City Hall. There are bright blue and green lights circling the fountain. Moreover, lit multicolored banners hover over it. I’m told that as we get closer and closer to Christmas, the entire Palace will be lit! Usually, it the lights display an array of colors, ranging from color combinations of bright pink, light blue, red, yellow and green. At times, there are 3D images displayed on the Palace of the Three Kings from the story of the birth of Jesus.

I will not be in Madrid to witness the official day the city will be lit with colors, around December 28th, but there is evidently enough to see before then. The picture for this blog post was taken in a tourist district in Madrid, Gran Vía. The lit Christmas tree is the first thing seen upon entering the area. The “M” stands for “Movistar,” a popular Spanish mobile phone operator, which operates in Spain and many other Latin American countries. It is not surprising that there is a tall Christmas tree dedicated to Movistar, since there are many Movistar stores in the city. There are three in my neighbor alone. The “M” is an exact replica of the company’s logo. The colors also represent the company’s colors. The “M” is green while the background blue.

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