Torrejon de Ardoz (Madrid) switched on its Christmas lights before Alicante City

Torrejon de Ardoz (Madrid) switched on its Christmas lights before Alicante City

2022 INNOVATION: Giant sphere installed on the Esplanade Photo credit: Alicante city hall

TORREJON DE ARDOZ in Madrid robbed Alicante City of its ambition of being the first Spanish city to turn on its Christmas lights.

The Madrid town, named European Capital of Christmas, did so by the narrow margin of an hour, switching on at 6pm on November 18, compared with Alicante’s 7pm.

City mayor Luis Barcala had explained beforehand that the November 18 date for inaugurating the lights was chosen deliberately to attract residents and tourists to local shops and business in the runup to the November 25 Black Friday shopping offers.

A giant 12-metre sphere imitating a Christmas bauble with 8,116 LED lights has been installed on the Esplanade. Big enough to enter, it incorporates a sound and light display and is one of 2022’s innovations in a year when the illuminations budget increased by €200,000 to €1.29 million. 

The Christmas decorations are reaching more city districts and rural neighbourhoods than in previous years, the mayor said, although electricity consumption has been cut by 30 per cent.

In response to the central and regional governments’ call for energy savings, the lights will be turned off at midnight on weekdays and at 1am over weekends, but will stay on until 4.30am on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at