Guide for Christmas in Medellín: “alumbrados,” parades and much more
Christmas in Medellín evokes grandma’s recipes, home decorations, creating the nativity scene with the family, the smile for the hug received, the surprise of the Christmas gifts, the unforgettable moments with neighbors, the candles, the Christmas “novenas,” the omens and superstitions and a gathering to celebrate with loved ones.
Here is a guide for you to live all those “Paisa” (originally from the region of Antioquia) experiences and traditions in the best way possible.
- Alumbrados Navideños (Christmas Lights) | 2.Medellín iluminada (An Illuminated Medellín) | 3. Not to miss events
1. ALUMBRADOS 🎄
The “Alumbrados Navideños” or “El Alumbrado” is the annual Medellín Christmas Lights. “Alumbrados EPM, tradiciones que iluminan la Navidad” (EPM Lighting, traditions that illuminate Christmas)” is the name for 2019, in a journey of light, magic and color for those special end-of-year moments lived and passed from generation to generation as part of the Antioquian culture and heritage.
This year, the Christmas Lights have their primary display at Parque Norte and from there they are distributed through different spaces of Medellín: main neighborhood parks and even the city’s townships.
Before moving on, let’s visit some of the history behind our lights…
In December 1967, 52 years ago, EPM (the local utilities company) gave Medellín a gift of light, fantasy and color : the Christmas Lights, in the Miguel de Aguinaga Building, in the heart of Medellín. Gradually, the Christmas light route was extended to main parks, avenues, church facades and hills until the river. In recent years, the core has moved from the river to the Carabobo Norte sector.
Medellín lights route ✨
Its epicenter will be in the Parque Norte, with free admission from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight, between November 29 and January 6, 2020. This space will be transformed into a typical large-scale Antioquia nativity scene.
The entrance will be by a replica to the Portal of Bethlehem. There, the Three Wise Men of the Epiphany, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar, along with the Star of Bethlehem, will welcome visitors. On the lake, people can admire a giant manger, with luminous figures of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Baby Jesus, the Ox, the Donkey and the Angel. The Christmas lights will be complemented by colorful monumental images of ducks, boats, light sequences of fish and water waves.
In another section of the Parque Norte, visitors will pass through the streets of a town, with colonial houses and a large well, and from this sector, they will follow the room-like scenes, such as: People’s Central Park, a Peasant Village, Shepherds, Animals, Vineyards.
Learn more about the event: Christmas Lights Festival start HERE.
2. WALKING AROUND AN ILLUMINATED MEDELLÍN 🌟
Where else to enjoy Christmas? #AlumbradosEPM has spaces to continue living the magic and Christmas charm. Here are some places that are part of the journey around the city: Medellín Christmas lights route and that will allow you to live Christmas throughout the city.
Avenida La Playa
Stylized figures of Christmas ornaments, candles, “novenas” and their carols, dinners, Christmas tree balls, bows, Christmas gifts, bells, garlands, omens and superstitions. Right at La Playa and Avenida Oriental, you will see a Christmas Tree with dynamic Christmas lights and all “Alumbrado” in the sector will be complemented by bright sky-like decorations.
Tranvia de Ayacucho (Tram)
Inspired by the Colombian traditions, omens and superstitions of December 31st. Between each street you will enjoy the “Faltan cinco pa’ ” (five minutes to midnight traditional song), yellow underwear, 12 grapes before midnight, carrying suitcases around the corner for good luck and plenty of travel during the new year, and lentils and rice to attract abundance.
Between the Plaza de Banderas and the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, billboards or Christmas light ceilings and luminous poles with musical instrument scenes (drums, violins, trumpets, maracas, tambourines and musical notes) will be installed, recalling the carols.
On the Cerro Nutibara hill, people will be able to explore the decoration consisting of a manger, candles and a ceiling of lights.
Between calle San Juan and Plaza Botero, a journey through self-supporting volumetric figures inspired by the night of the little candles (Noche de las velitas).
Avenida Las Palmas
From the Intercontinental Hotel and the Calle 33 roundabout, the posts will be adorned with traditional images of Christmas decorations: trees, snowmen, balls and stars.
Parques del Río
This new city public space will be decorated in a special way. A real surprise to discover and explore as a family, as an alternative route in traditional decoration.
The “Ruta de la Luz” extends under of the Santo Domingo Savio Metrocable Station and the Santa Cruz, Manrique, Gaitán, Aranjuez, Bulevar de Castilla, Boston, Lleras, Villa Hermosa, La Milagrosa, Parque de San Antonio, Primer Parque de Laureles, Bulevar San Javier, Parque El Poblado, Parque Cristo Rey and Parque de Belén, in addition to the five districts, with colorful “Chivas” (Traditional Old-Town Buses) as a photo opportunity to remember your visit and share the Christmas traditions in Medellín with your family.
Learn more about: “Antioquia Iluminada” HERE.
3. THE NOT-TO-MISS EVENTS DURING CHRISTMAS 🎅🏼
Something is certain, at Christmas it is impossible not to have something to do. But let us recommend events that would sadden you if you missed them for any reason.
Christmas Lights Festival Inaugural Ceremony
November 29, 6:00 p.m. at Parque Norte. The festival of traditions and colors, the “Ruta de la Luz” (Route of Light) and the splendor of the culture of Antioquia, all in the same place. Entrance is free. + Info
November 30 through December 7, noon to 11:00 p.m. at Ciudad del Río, a space designed for families to meet the main traditions of Christmas, gastronomy, Sanalejo Market (flee market) and artistic and cultural exhibitions. Entrance is free. +Info
December 16 through the 23rd, noon to 11:00 p.m. at Parque Juan Pablo II Free admission.
Art Expressions Corridor
November 29 through December 30, 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m at Parque Norte and Parques del Río. More than 220 artists will share with all participants. Entrance is free. +Info
Calle de los Artistas (Artists’ Street)
December 9-15, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at La Playa, Paseo Bolívar and Plaza Botero Dancing, theater and music shows in public spaces. Entrance is free.
December 9-15, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., in Carrera 70 and Parque Lleras Dancing, theater and music shows in public spaces. Free entrance.
Christmas in Downtown
December 4, 7:00 p.m, in the “Iglesia del Espítiru Santo” in Prado Centro Welcoming Christmas. Free admission. +Info
“Mitos y Leyendas” (Myths and Legends) Parade
December 8, 7:00 p.m from the Pablo Tobón Uribe Theater until the Barefoot Park This is an opportunity to celebrate the cultural traditions, myths and legends that are part of our idiosyncrasy. It should be noted that the participating groups are chosen through the Call for Stimuli for Art and Culture invitation. Entrance is free. +Info
December 13 and 14, 7:00 p.m at the Ciudad del Río lot. It will feature the participation of the Filarmed and dancers of several ballet companies from Medellín, who went through a call process, to be part of this great event. Free entrance, no tickets required. +Info
Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia
December 15 and 16, 7:00 p.m at the Ciudad del Río lot. With the show: Colombia Viva. Free entrance, no tickets required. +Info
Do you want a detailed agenda of each event? You can access the complete Christmas program HERE
Also read: The Matancera Night 2019 🇨🇴