Christmas lights in Spanish cities different because of the energy crisis?

by Lorraine Williamson
christmas fir

Turn off the lights a few hours earlier or the same as previous years? After only a recommendation from the Spanish government, each major city in Spain has decided for itself how to deal with the Christmas lights. Here’s how various cities are tackling it starting this week. 

The world is facing a real energy crisis. Yet it does not seem that this has much impact on the lighting of the Christmas lights in Spain. From this week, just like previous years, the Christmas lights will be lit in almost all municipalities to festively illuminate Spanish cities and villages during the coming period. 

Although this will be the case in many municipalities, there are several cities in Spain that have taken some measures in light of the energy crisis. In an article from the Spanish news site, cities in Spain with more than 100,000 inhabitants highlight how they deal with the Christmas lights. 

Majority of Spanish cities turn off the lights earlier 

A majority of the larger cities have decided to cut costs in the context of the energy crisis. For example, the mayors of the following areas, have announced they will shorten the number of daily burning hours;

  • Barcelona
  • ​​Seville
  • Malaga
  • Murcia
  • Las Palmas
  • Bilbao
  • Cordoba
  • Valladolid
  • Vitoria
  • Granada
  • Jerez de la Frontera
  • San Sebastian
  • Burgos
  • Castellón
  • Salamanca
  • Cádiz
  • Ourense
  • Caceres

This applies on working days and not during public holidays and weekends. The lights go on as usual when it gets dark, but they go off a few hours earlier so that some energy is saved every day. 

Cogesa Expats

No adjustments due to previous energy investments 

Other mayors say that the Christmas lights will be just like previous years. This is the case in Zaragoza, Valencia and Alicante. These mayors indicate that their municipalities have already taken saving measures in recent years, such as replacing the lighting with LED lamps and investments in energy renovation. 

Christmas lighting investment in Spanish cities 

The mayors of Vigo and Madrid both indicate that they will not cut back on Christmas lighting. They see the lighting as an investment in their city; making their city cozier during this period boosts trade, hotels, restaurants and tourism. 

Other Spanish cities go one step further 

On the other hand, there are also cities, such as Palma, where the Christmas lights will be even more and will burn longer. Last week the lights on the island already went on and the burning hours will be equal to the opening hours of the shops. This as a stimulus for trade during the Black Friday period and during the Christmas shopping. There will also be more Christmas lights in other cities such as Gijón, Terrasa, Oviedo, León, Jaén and Asturias, despite the increased energy prices of the past year. 

Also read: Spaniards expected to spend less this Christmas

Reason for the different approach to Christmas lighting in Spain 

The reason that every city in Spain handles it differently is because both the Spanish government and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) did not want to give any guidelines about lighting the Christmas lights a few months ago. Minister Ribera of Ecological Transition did call on the mayors to exercise restraint, but because all this was not made concrete, each municipality ultimately decided for itself how to deal with this. 

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