What to Know About Medellin Christmas Lights 2022

What to Know About Medellin Christmas Lights 2022

TLDR? The Christmas Lights in Medellín will begin on December 7 with the film Encanto as the main theme.

Most of us have fond childhood memories of driving around looking at Christmas lights. 

But trust me—you haven’t seen Christmas lights until you’ve seen Medellin. Medellin is famous for its lights, and is said to be the city with the best displays in the country!

This year, the Christmas lights are rumored to be something out of this world. Read on to learn all about the Medellin Christmas lights 2022!

What Are the Christmas Lights in Colombia?

sunflower made of christmas lights

In Medellín, as in all of Colombia, Christmas lights are known as Alumbrados. This tradition is of religious origin and honors the Virgin Mary.

Traditionally, the holiday takes place on December 8th, and is dedicated to the immaculate conception. 

However, in addition to the Catholic celebration, Medellín also just comes to life with holiday lights. Everything from the shores of the river to local homes lights up!

Unlike other countries such as the United States or Europe, Christmas in Colombia doesn’t only feature Santa Claus, snowmen, or the huge Christmas trees that you’ll find in New York. 

Instead, don’t be surprised to see flowers, TV characters, cartoons, fruits, and Catholic figures on the streets.

What Is Dia de Las Velitas in Colombia?

alumbrada in medellin on the die de velitas

The Christmas lights in Colombia start on the aforementioned December 8th, and is called día de las velitas, or day of the little candles. 

Locals place candles inside faroles. These are small colored boxes that come in different shapes. Many times, the boxes or the candles themselves feature religious images.

What to Expect From the Medellin Christmas Lighs 2022

If you are already in Medellín or are planning to visit the city this Christmas, it pays to know a bit about the upcoming alumbrado. 

Here is everything you need to know about the Medellin Christmas lights in 2022.

Medellin Holiday Lights Start Date 

Medellín will continue its tradition by turning on its lights on Wednesday, December 7, on the famous day of the día de las velitas.

This will involve a number of different lights displays around the city as well as local decorated homes in the city. 

Theme for the Medellin Alumbrado

The Empresas Públicas de Medellín or EPM have reached an agreement with The Disney Company to make this year’s Alumbrado theme focused on the animated film Encanto.

With the slogan of “Medellín Encanta en Navidad,” you can expect tons of Madrigal family images to pop up around the town. 

The city chose this theme because, in addition to being one of the highest-grossing films worldwide in theater and cinema, it represents Colombian culture and traditions. 

Where to See the Medellin Christmas Lights 2022

Christmas Lights on a road

The city confirmed that the rivers will be one of the most prominent places to see the Christmas lights this year. The city will create a path from the Guayaquil bridge to Parques del Río, where you can see the main displays.

This tour can be done walking, so you can enjoy the currents full of colorful holograms, floating figures, and huge decorations Encanto has inspired.

In addition to this space, you can add the following places to your itinerary:

Remember, Medellín has 5 corregimientos, which include San Sebastián de las Palmitas, Altavista, San Cristobal, San Antonio del Padro y Santa Elena. These places are very close to the city, just half an hour or 40 minutes away, and will all have continuations of the Encanto displays.

In addition, the city isn’t going to be the only one illuminated. The mayor’s office adds around 25 municipalities of Antioquia to the list. So, if you want to escape the city, these are some options:

  • Briceño
  • Santa Fe de Antioquia
  • Peque
  • Ituango
  • Yarumal
  • Toledo
  • San Andrés de Cuerquia
  • Valdivia
  • Buriticá
  • Olaya
  • Liborina
  • Sabanalarga
  • Caldas

The list does not end there; in addition to these municipalities, you can visit places further afield like Caucasia, Tarazá, Nechí, Cáceres, and Amalfi.

Pro Tips for Enjoying the Alumbrado in Medellin

burning candles

Spending Christmas in Medellin is definitely unique, and is an amazing way to enjoy the festivities. 

If you want to really enjoy the alumbrado, however, there are a couple of pro tips to keep in mind. 

For one thing, it pays to note that the Alumbrado will be throughout the city. Although it is very comfortable to get around the city by car, for these days it won’t be your best option. The streets fill with people, so it’s best to stick to public transport or walking. 

Another thing to note is that the Alumbrado is full of vendors selling street food. As a result, this might just be the right time to try out some local paisa food.

Here is a list of the most famous foods at Christmas:

  • Buñuelos: a fried donut made of cheese and pastry. 
  • Natilla: a kind of corn-based flan with a caramel flavor.
  • Arroz con leche: rice pudding that’s sometimes sweetened with cinnamon or has cheese added to it.
  • Empanadas: sort of like fried dumplings stuffed with meat and veggies. 

Finally, just remember to stay safe! Make sure to tell someone where you’re going, and don’t go anywhere that’s poorly lit.

If you need help, you can ask your Casacol property concierge for a map of where to wander and where not to go. 

Check Out Medellin’s Christmas Lights

Now you are an expert and are ready to get out and enjoy everything that the Medellin Christmas lights have to offer. 

As per usual, they’re bound to be a doozy. Come see Disney’s homage to Colombian culture, and enjoy a unique way to experience Christmas!

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