Christmas traditions in Barcelona

Christmas is that time of the year where we all leave our daily routines aside to enjoy some quality time. Don’t you just love spending hours around a table, enjoying some good food with your family? Streets are filled with Christmas lights and people strolling around in search for the perfect gift for their beloved ones. But there are many other things that make us love being in Barcelona specially in these days. Buing the traditional figures and decor for the Christmas crib and, of course, your favorite “Caganer” in Fira de Santa Llúcia. This is the most mythical market in Barcelona, right in front of the city’s Catherdral, this Christmas market dates back to 1.786! Walking down Passeig de Gràcia to admire the façade lighting of Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. For the last few years, these architectural Works signed by Gaudí have become the focus of attention of locals and tourists during the Christmas nights because of their façades’ lighting. La Pedrera has worked this year with students on the Master’s Degree course in Ephemeral Architecture and Temporary Spaces at ELISAVA (the Barcelona University College of Design and Engineering) to produce a creative and critical lighting design. With this initiative, the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation continues to support young talent and promote critical thought. The art work invites the audience to think about “what can’t be bought with money”. EQUALIY, LOVE and PEACE are among the eight concepts. In Casa Batlló, apart from the lighting, this year you can also enjoy the inside restoration of the walls and ceilings of the Noble floor. Another character in Catalan mythology relating to a Christmas tradition, that cannot miss in any house, is the “Tió de Nadal”. Beginning with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), one gives the tió a little bit to "eat" every night and usually covers him with a blanket so that he will not be cold. The story goes that in the days that precede Christmas, children must take good care of the log, keeping it warm and feeding it, so that it will defecate presents on Christmas Day or Eve. Ok, probably this can be done all year round if you are in Barcelona, BUT… This is the best time to treat ourselves and so one of the things we enjoy the most in holidays is going for a hot chocolate at Caelum, behind Carrer del Pi. Besides serving cocktails and local candies, its cellar is an historic venue (is thought to have belonged to the ancient Jewish baths) which offers live music, small format performances and monologues.

Picture by Love&Olive Oil

And… While most of the countries end their Christmas celebrations after New Year’s Eve here, the best is yet to come! The 5th of January is a day of parades and processions where the Three Kings collect the letters written by all the kids and throw candy into de crowd. The young and young-at-heart alike line the streets of our city and eager to get a glimpse of the kings. The day after, families come together to open the gifts that the Kings have left under the tree and again, enjoy another meal that concludes with the “roscón de reyes”, the ring-shaped pastry decorated to look like a crown that a king would wear. It is often topped with glazed fruits, representing the colorful jewels on a crown. Buried inside it is a toy, often a figurine of baby Jesus or a tiny king. The person who finds it in their piece is said to have good luck for the year! From all Carner Barcelona’s team, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and the very best for this 2019!

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