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December 19, 2019

Christmas in Barcelona, and Spain more widely, is a magical time. We have all you need to know about the region’s Christmas rituals. Merry Christmas!

FIRA DE SANTA LLÚCIA Lots of small markets can be found throughout Barcelona at fira st luciaChristmas time. However, by far the largest and most popular is the Fira de Santa Llúcia, located outside Barcelona Cathedral in Plaza de la Seu. With lots of handmade decorations and gift ideas in a stunning setting, it is the perfect place to make you feel thoroughly festive. This year, the fair begins on 29th November and ends on December 23rd.

light pg de graciaThe Christmas lights in Barcelona will be on from 28th of November to 6th of January. Various streets and squares in the city centre are being lit up for the first time in years this Christmas, the aim being to add more vitality to the area. In all, a hundred kilometres of city streets will have Christmas lights in Barcelona.

 PLAÇA SANT JAUME NATIVITY SCENE This year’s nativity scene in Plaça de Sany nativityJaume has been created by the set designer Paul Bosch.

The nativity scene in Plaça de Sant Jaume will be on display from 29 November to 6 January and contains everything needed to celebrate Christmas in city homes. The scene is based

around the boxes full of objects and decorations that are brought out at Christmas.

The scene if full of all sorts of boxes, big, small, containing different materials, shoe boxes, others covered with paper etc. The objects inside each box remind us that Christmas is here: the Christmas soup bowl, pasta galets for the Christmas soup, cava glasses, grapes, Christmas polvoron shortbreads, different nativity scenes, big and small and with figures old and new, pieced together or in pieces, garlands, Christmas trees, moss and more.

There are actually two sides to the scene: the part behind the boxes offers a view of a city with illuminated windows, streetlamps, cables connecting houses to each other etc.


CLASSIC NATIVITY SCENE As ever, this Christmas you can visit the classic  monumental maresnativity scene in the courtyard of the Museu Frederic Marès.

The monumental nativity scene at the Museu Frederic Marès typifies the classic style of the Barcelona school and takes its inspiration from the Catalan landscape, with figures from the Italian firm Original Heide produced specifically for this scene and natural greenery.

This year’s nativity scene takes its inspiration from the mountain of Montserrat. The visit is free.

SANTS INNOCENTS (Holy Innocents Day) 28th OF DECEMBER Holy Innocents’ Day, when practical jokes and pranks can catch you by surprise at every turn. You can find a paper doll hung on your back, just as you can leg pulled reading a newspaper that published a news they have made up. It appears this day of jokes has a pagan origin, although it has been linked to the slather of innocent children ordered by King Herod, according to St. Matthew.

THE DAY OF THREE KINGS At 4 pm on 5 January, Their Majesties the Kings of Orient reis 20will arrive at Barcelona Port on board the Santa Eulàlia ship. The ceremony to welcome them will be held on the quayside and they will be presented with the key to the city, enabling them to open all of the homes in Barcelona on the magical night of 5 January and leave their presents.

Having crossed the Mediterranean from faraway lands, Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar and their entourage of fantastical creatures will arrive at Moll de la Fusta, where the mayor of Barcelona will greet them and hand them the keys to the city. This will mark the start of the parade along the city’s main streets, finishing around 9 p.m. at the Magic Fountain. This year, the Kings will be accompanied by a retinue of curious characters, including the toy inventor, the gift wrapper and the tree planter. And don’t forget the royal pages who will collect the last remaining letters for the Kings, the coal float, the dummy collectors and the sweet distributors. And many of them have new outfits that will shine like the sun!

All the poetry of Christmas concentrated in one of Barcelona’s biggest street spectacles.  A burst of creativity, light and colour!

The 2020’th Parade will start at 6pm on Av. Marquès de l’Argentera. The Kings and their retinue Will then parade along Pla de Palau, Pg. Isabel II, Vía Laietana, Pl. Urquinaona, Rda Sant Antoni, c. Sepúlveda, Av Paral·lel, Av. Maria Cristina and Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia.



GALETS: Soup made with galets is a typical Christmas Day dish. This pasta, shaped like snail shell, is genuinely Catalan, at least the big shell, which is the typical on the Christmas

canneloniCANNELLONI: Cannelloni arrived here in the 19th century, courtesy of the Italian chefs who worked for bourgeoisie at the time. The recipe rapidly became popular among all social classes, although it is somewhat different to the Italian version. Very likely you will find it on the dinner table on Boxing Day. There is a theory that cannelloni is served up the day after Christmas Day, so families can make it with the leftovers from Christmas broth and roast.

CAVA: No Christmas meal could be complete without cava, the drink preferred for toasting the festive occasions, from Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve and even King Day (January 6th).

neules 20NEULES: These are a typical Christmas sweet, and are probably the oldest in Catalonia. King Jaume I used to eat them in the Llibre de les Meravelles and the Santes Creus Monastery made them in the 14th century. They say it must be nun who invented the neula, when she was rolling a consecrated wafer. Slowly the recipe for this rolled wafer was perfected and it became crispier. Even in medieval times it was normal to drunk it in piment, wine spiced with honey and pepper

tortell 20TORRONS: Although it is not known for certain, it is belived that torró is of Arabian origin, if only for te ingredients of the most common variety, namely almond, honey and egg. The Christmas sweet, which also existed in Middle Ages, was reserved for the rich, who ate it for dessert on special occasions. The varieties range from more traditional Xixona and Alacant (soft and hard nougat) to more fancy ones, like chocolate and glazed fruit, without forgetting the more sophisticated, desiners ones, such as mojito turron.

GRAPES: The Catalan saying goes “eating grapes on New Year’s Eve will bring you money all year round”. The tradition of eating grapes on midnight is just 100 years old.

TORTELL DE REIS:  The ring shape kings cake, with glazed fruit and stuffed with marzipan and cream, is the real king of Kings’ Day. What’s special about it is a bean and a figurine of a king hidden inside. Whoever finds the bean has to pay for the cake, while whoever finds the figurine will be crowned king.


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