December is probably one of the best months of the year: Christmas time makes people happier, more relaxed; cities are decorated with lights, Christmas trees and many traditional markets with food, handicrafts and drinks are organized in every neighbourhood. During this time you can breath a different air!
Bogotá changes a lot in December. This year there are millions of LED lights in the main streets, churches, malls and parks and you can also enjoy a lot of light performances every day. I’m quite surprised because I’ve never seen so many Christmas lights in just one city! It’s an unique scenario but I’m a little bit concerned about the ecological impact of these LED lamps. Fortunately, at least there’ s an eco-friendly activity planned for December 11th that is called ‘la ciclovía nocturna’ (night cycle way). During this event it’ll be possible to see the city by night on bicycle and thousands of people are expected to participate.
If you’re in Bogotá in December, I’d suggest you to go to visit Monserrate by night. This is the most famous mountain of Bogotá and it’s known for its sanctuary that every year receives thousands of pilgrims. Here, you can see a wonderful view of Bogotá by night and feel the Christmas atmosphere thanks to the many decorations and the artisanal market. And if you’re cold (remember we’re at more than 3,000 meters of altitude) you can just drink a hot canelazo or chirinchi (aguardiente with herbs)!
But there’s another thing that I really love. It’s a typical Colombian holiday named ‘día de las velitas’ (day of the little candles) that takes place on December 7th. It’s celebrated the day before the Immaculate Conception and during this holiday believers show their devotion to the Virgin Mary. We can say that Christmas time officially starts from here. And how do people celebrate el día de las velitas? As the name suggests, everyone decorates the entrance to their houses with candles and lanterns. Also, many people go to enjoy lanterns in main squares and parks where they can watch amazing fireworks too.
So, this is how Bogotá looks in these weeks...like a magical city!