Although I thought Christmas had come even sooner here, little did I know that there would be much more celebrations, decorations and Spanish traditions to come. Ever since the mid-November when they began putting up the Christmas lights around the city, I had been wondering when they were going to start turning them on and was beginning to wonder if it would be before I leave for winter break. Then on the last day of November, I was walking home and all the colorful lights were on and the streets were filled with people. Since then, there seems to be something new going on every day, which is very exciting, since I get to see new parts of their culture that are completely new to me. For example, they set up booths along a main street in my neighborhood (walking-only street) where you can buy bread and pastries, but the interesting thing for me was that there were big loaves of bread just stacked up in the booth and all the cheesecake and desserts are just on big cookies sheets ready to sell. It seems really old-fashioned, but I think the tradition is great and not only do they sell pastries, but there are different booths with cheeses, olive oil, candy, jewelry and clothes. On the same street there are also small rides for kids to go on, a polar express train and booths selling fresh churros and hot chocolate.
In the center of the city there is still the nativity scene market, but there is also an old book market in another plaza where there are about 20 vendor booths selling old books. In another park nearby, they set up a nations fair with booths selling food, clothes, and jewelry from other countries.
Walking around in the evening has taken on a new level of excitement that I really enjoy because I get to see a new side of their culture that I wouldn't be able to see during any other time of the year.