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What's on in Spain: December 2014

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What's on in Spain: December 2014
Bonfires will blaze all over Spain to light up the longest night of the year on December 21st. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP
18:17 CET+01:00
As the countdown to the new year in Spain begins, The Local rounds up the best sports, arts and cultural activities in the country to keep you entertained during the short days of December.

Arts

Cartagena International Film Festival, December 7th – 13th. Held every year since 1972 in Murcia's Cartagena, the festival focuses on up-and-coming film makers from Spain.

Almería En Corto: International Festival Of Film Shorts, December 2nd – 6th. A range of parallel festival activities for fans complements the on-screen action as film-makers compete for prizes in different categories.

Exhibition: Young Velázquez, Seville, October 15th 2014 – January 15th 2015. Your chance to check out the first public exhibition of a newly discovered 1616-1617 work by the Seville-born artist Diego Velásquez. "The Education of the Virgin" was found in Yale University and restored in 2010.

Gospel Greats, Barcelona, December 5th – 20th.  Some of the world's greatest gospel choirs and solo singers will provide inspiration and entertainment at this festival, with events taking place at different venues around Catalonia.

Exhibition: Sorolla, The Colour Of The Sea, Majorca, October 9th 2014 – February 8th 2015. CaixaForum Palma presents an exhibition of works by Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla. The works chosen all showcase Sorolla's mastery of painting the sea.

Joaquin Sorolla's paiting Children on the Beach. Photo: AFP

Culture

University "New Year's Eve" party, Salamanca, December 11th. OK, so it's not on New Year's Eve but this massive party on December 11th could still leave you with a hangover on January 1st. Join an international crowd of over 45,000 people to usher the Christmas season in with style.

Winter Solstice, all over Spain, December 21st. Bonfires will blaze all over Spain to light up the year's shortest day but those in Robledo de Chavela (near Madrid), Olombrada (near Segovia), Castrillo de Don Juan (near Palencia) and Viniegra de Abajo (near La Rioja) are all particularly noteworthy.

Madrid Christmas Market, Plaza Mayor, November 28th to December 31st. If you want to get into the Christmas spirit in the Spanish capital, this is the place to come for trinkets, gifts and nativity scenes.  

Sport

Canary Islands Olympic Sailing Week, December 4th – 8th. A week of exciting regattas, featuring Olympic sailors of over 10 different nationalities.

Champions League: FC Barcelona – PSG, Barcelona, December 10th. The two favourites from group F go head-to-head in the iconic Camp Nou stadium, featuring some of the biggest names in world football including Messi, Suárez, Ibrahimovic and Neymar.

Buff Epic Run, Barcelona, December 21st. A crazy combination of an eight kilometre (five-mile) fun run, obstacle course and fancy dress event, the Buff Epic Run at Montjuic castle sees participants scramble through mud pits and over tyres while dressed in themed costumes. Places are limited but if you miss out you can just go and watch.

Polar Bear Swim, Gibraltar, December 26th. Join the brave souls wading into the cold water at Catalan Bay on Boxing Day. Those who indulge in the shiver-inducing dip will be treated to hot brandy, mince pies and a Polar Bear Certificate.

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