Colours and decorations take centre stage in the streets, thousands of light bulbs light up the city, Christmas has officially arrived in Madrid. The turning on of the decorative lights took place last Thursday and at the same time the opening of two thematic spaces, with nature and fauna as protagonists. These dazzling shows return punctually to their date with the winter season and are an alternative to the classic Christmas lighting and decorations of the rest of the capital. These tours become the perfect activity to enjoy with the whole family, delighting the little ones and even leaving the adults of the house open-mouthed.

Naturaleza Encendida has already become a classic of the festivities in the capital, once again lighting up Madrid for the fifth consecutive year. In this edition, the main theme has been insects, which decorate the route playing with different dimensions and colours, but with a common element: a spectacular luminosity. In the exhibition you can see armies of bright ants, gigantic spiders and dragonflies or colorful beetles, while the visitor enters an enchanted forest with trees whose lights tint with changing colors, projections and a path of luminous "grass" that guides the route.

The opening of this space marked the start of the switching on of the Christmas lights, being the first to start shining with a presentation ceremony last Tuesday, November 21. This year it has an important change and that is that its usual location in the Botanical Garden is changed to the Enrique Tierno Galván Park, which offers a much larger space that promises a more comfortable and accessible experience to its visitors.

Naturaleza Encendida in Enrique Tierno Galván ParkNaturaleza Encendida

Naturaleza encendida has more than 300 figures spread over 25 locations that highlight the importance of insects and their function, through a sound and light show. In this edition, the event has opted for sustainability hand in hand with Repsol. The lighting has energy-saving LED technology to minimise the energy impact and thanks to multi-energy with renewable fuels, emissions can be reduced by 80%.

And from the enchanted forest you make the leap to the savannah, and a little further north, in the Juan Carlos I park, there is another route, in this case under the name of Brilla Zoo, which arrives in the capital with the support of El Corte Inglés. This new exhibition of lights and sounds, which is premiering for the first time in the city, has become the largest illuminated zoo in the world with more than 450 figures of giant animals. This exhibition promises to surprise all its visitors. It is an immersive experience in which you will be able to see all kinds of animals: lions, giraffes or zebras, but also aquatic animals, such as gigantic whales or octopuses. You will be able to take a walk through very diverse habitats without leaving the city, from the forest to the jungle, passing through the mangrove swamp and descending to the deep seabed. You will also travel through the imagination with fantastic animals, in a place where each animal shines with its own light.

The tour, in addition to being spectacular, has the educational factor, going through the history of extinct animals or at risk of disappearance and seeking, at the same time, to raise awareness about the effects of climate change in a playful way. "We are very proud to present Brilla Madrid Zoo, a one-of-a-kind show that combines the beauty of nature with the magic of light. We want to offer the public an unforgettable immersive education experience that makes them enjoy, learn and reflect on the environment and animals," says Javier Jaramillo, director of Brilla Investments, the company organizing the event.

Both spaces can be enjoyed until mid-January, ending Naturaleza encendida on the 21st and Brilla Zoo on the 14th. Entrance prices to the spaces also vary from the 13 euros for the general admission to Naturaleza Encendada to the 22 euros for access to the brilliant zoo. The light of the capital intensifies at this time of year with these two bets, which share some points in common but offer different experiences to explore a very magical version of the natural and animal world, leaving an alternative to the traditional Christmas lights.