get cultural this holiday season


If you’d rather getaway for the holidays, there are plenty of destinations that are rolling out the red carpet and inviting you to partake in their local holiday traditions. Who knows, perhaps you’ll take the traditions home with you and make them a part of yours.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn Barcelona, for instance, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, held Dec. 8, is a reason to fête throughout the city. People flock to Barcelona’s most popular Christmas market, Fira De Santa Llúcia, as well as the impressive nativity scene outside the town hall in Plaça Sant Jaume. The Christmas markets really get going Dec. 13 through the holiday, and those looking to cool off can plunge into the cold waters for winter swimming on Dec. 26. Generator Hostels offers hotel accommodations starting at $69/night.

Los Posadas CelebrationThe Los Posadas Celebration, a nine-day fete that begins Dec. 16, is a 400-year-old Mexican tradition that re-enacts Joseph and Mary’s journey with candlelight processions, songs, prayers and games. Barceló Maya Beach Resort’s five all-inclusive properties provide guests with traditional holiday experiences, starting at $95/person/night; and Sandos Hotels & Resorts’ four all-inclusive resorts also start at $95/person/night. (Photo courtesy of

Three Kings CelebrationThe Three Kings Celebration in the Dominican Republic is held Jan. 4 – 6, and is one of the country’s largest celebrations, including live music and much more. A local tradition has children placing grass, water and food under their beds the eve of Jan. 5 for the wise men and their camels to enjoy when they visit. Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort’s two all-inclusive properties start at $122/person/night.

dauchsund walk _ nbc miamiStateside, there are plenty of holiday happenings in the Florida Keys: the Keys Chorale 2013 Holiday Concert will be held in Key West on Dec. 6; a Key West Holiday Historic Inn Tour will be held Dec. 6 and Dec. 13; lighted boat parades will glide by on Dec. 8 and Dec. 14 in Marathon, and Dec. 14 in Key Largo and Key West; the Pops in the Park Holiday Concert will be held in Islamorada Dec. 21; and we can’t forget the Annual Key West Dachsund Walk on Dec. 31! (photo courtesy of NBC Miami)

emerald coast white christmasA White Christmas takes on a whole new meaning on Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast. The sugar-white sand beaches and emerald-green waters showcase holiday colors in a totally different way. Why not warm up over the holidays?

These are just a few ideas on how you can get cultural and celebrate differently this holiday season. Do you include cultural experiences in your celebration?