This time last year I was lucky enough to be in Cordoba, Spain.  One of the Christmas traditions that Cordobans treasure is the annual “La Fiesta de los Patios d Cordoba”.  Begun in 1918 as a spring festival, it has expanded over the years to include a smaller but no less enjoyable event over the Christmas period.

Due to a hot, dry climate, homes in Córdoba were built with a central patio beginning in the days of the Romans. This tradition was continued by the Moors and continues in many homes even today. Filling the central patio with plants and water features has always been a way to keep local homes cool – a lesson we could learn in California. Somewhere along the way, patio decoration ended up taking on a life all its own and at some point, someone realized that these hidden treasures were just too good to be kept tucked away behind heavy doors. So, twice a year, the doors open and everyone is invited in to see the wonders of Córdoba’s patios.

These patios not only offer a visual feast of colorful flowers, stone mosaics and ceramic decorations, but also bring out the classic scents of Córdoba: jasmine and orange blossom mixed with a myriad of scents from the many other flowers and plants that bring the city – and this festival – alive.  Many of the participants offered cookies and beverages during the tours, some even offered Christmas carolers.  It is wonderful to see families out in the evening, enjoying

The tradition has spread to public outdoor spaces, and the visitor can come across sculptures celebrating the tradition brightening up public plazas around the city.

Wishing you a very wonderful Christmas and holiday season, whatever your traditions.

Simmonds & Associates.