Christmas in Barcelona
Christmas approaches Barcelona transforms, like many other
cities in the world do. Many people are convinced that consumerism
substituted tradition, especially when you travel on holiday in December,
but this is not fully true. In fact, it looks that Christmas always arrives
in shops' windows before than in people's hearts or anyway well in advance
in the calendar. In Barcelona, you get various options and once again
tradition gets along well with the new commercial trends.
are adorned with Christmas
lights and decorations,
many areas of the town get
ready to host a multitude of tourists, not only from abroad but also from
the surrounding areas. Barcelona's is a special Christmas, the most followed
and famous in the Catalan Region.
So many events, both religious and not, are linked to the popular
de la Catedral hosts the market
of Saint Lucia,
known as Feria de Santa Llúcia,
open from the first days of December until the 24th.
Stalls offer an incredible assortment of Christmas ornaments, products of
local handicraft and gastronomy.
You can't avoid noticing the
typical Christmas trees and creches that, besides the classical figures,
include a quite unusual one, the caganer,
a character from the Catalan
folklore, represented by a
young man with a red hat and bare buttocks. His origin is in the 18thcentury, when it was decided to add elements from the regional tradition to
the classic nativity scenes. The statue is represented while defecating,
that's why in the local language it is called 'home
que caga', and in the popular
tradition it's considered as a great lucky charm and symbol of self-irony of
the society: we're all the same when it comes to men's biological needs.
market, like Sagrada Família's,
hosts an enormous variety of products, not only Christmas ones but also
clothing, lamps created by the skilled hands of Catalan artisans, costume
jewelry and much more. Surely that's a venue not to be missed during your
Christmas holiday in Barcelona.
carries with itself a few special guests. In many Catalan houses, especially
those with kids, "caga Tió"
appears before Santa Claus arrives. "Caga Tió" is a character built from a
wooden trunk: he arrives to kids' houses a few weeks before Christmas. Also
known as Tió de Nadal or Tronca,
he derives from the Catalan folklore too. The tree has always been
considered as a source of wealth in popular tradition: it was used as raw
material in order to create useful tools for everyday life, besides being
used for fire. A few days before Christman, parents explain their children
that "Tió" has gone to the mountains to eat and get fat before the
approaching holidays. This is an excuse for families to spend a day out:
this tradition is much more common in small Catalan villages rather than in
towns. Meanwhile, adults hide the Tió in a strategic place and, later,
younger kids accidentally find it. The Tió will later come back home and on
the night of December 24th,
kids will incite it to release the presents by hitting it with tiny sticks.
There are also
many Spanish traditions
besides the specific Catalan ones: one
of them is to always have some
mistletoe (muérdago) and a
>and they both have to be given as
presents. Another tradition for children, in this case to obtain a few extra
money, called "Aguinaldo",
is visiting the neighbours' houses (the classic "villancicos"
tous) and offering Christmas chants in exchange for a reward. The same
night, in order to celebrate the birth of Jesus, some families attend the
midnight mass, also called the rooster mass because traditions says it was a
rooster who notified the arrival of Jesus in this world.
doesn't put aside the role of
as well as other
famous characters. Presents are piled up under the Christmas tree the
morning of the 25th
or also January 6th,
when they are brought by
Magos (Three Kings).
Christmas Day has to be spent with the family, as well as December 26th,
Boxing Day (san Esteban),
which can't exist without the traditional home made cannelloni. The
typical Christmas menu of Catalonia,
as well as
in Barcelona, also includes the 'Escudella
i carn d'olla',
a stew characterized by a typical spiced sausage called botifarra and
vegetables. Other specialties are the cava sparkling wine,
dried fruit, nougat and buiscuits made with sugar, cinnamon and almonds,
local Christmas menus, including hand made cannelloni. It is more and more
usual even among local families to go out for Christmas dinner, because of
lack of time and need for relaxing.
Hotels in Barcelona
Karte von Spanien
Map of Spain
Carte de Barcelone
Karte von Barcelona
Map of Barcelona