Christmas in Barcelona

Ashkan Ahmadi

Christmas in Barcelona

For centuries, Christmas was celebrated not as a single day, but as a whole season – a very special time of the year, a celebration among billions of people around the world.

In Catalonia and Barcelona there are different and unique rituals and customs, which are creating a magical atmosphere that invites you to wander and lose yourself. So, we’ve gathered the most interesting facts, events and fairs, so you can enjoy this wonderful time and immerse yourself into holiday mood.

Fira de Santa Llucia

Fira de Santa Llucia

The Fira de Santa Llúcia is Barcelona’s biggest Christmas market and located in front of Barcelona’s cathedral in the Gothic quarter. The fair is dating from 1786!

On 14 of December there is the festival “Diada de les tradicions nadalencs”, which has extra Christmas activities and a Christmas concert. The Diada de Tradicions i Costums Nadalencs festival starts from 10:30. Usually at 18:00 a giant carnaval figure called the “Carassa de Nadal de Barcelona,” which means the “Barcelona Christmas face,” parades through the Santa Llucia Christmas market with sweets pouring out of his mouth. The Carassa de Nadal is accompanied by the music of the “Pessigolla de la Plaça Nova” grallers pipe band. From 19:00 onwards more Christmas concerts and dances. Please note times can vary or change.

Dates: November 29 to December 23 2019
Location: Avenida de la Catedral Barcelona, Gothic quarter
Opening times:
– Working days from 11.00 to 20:30
– Holidays and vigils from 10:00 to 21:30

Official website: http://firadesantallucia.cat/

Sagrada Família Christmas Fair

Every year since 1960, the Christmas Market of the Sagrada Familia is traditionally held from November 29 to December 23. An open-air market, where you can buy Christmas trees, figurines for the traditional crib, toys, gifts, food and crafts.

Dates: November 29 to December 23 2019
Opening times: 10:00 to 22:00
Location: La Sagrada Familia, Carrer de Mallorca, 401

Lost & Found market

Lost and Found Market Barcelona

The Lost & Found Christmas is here! On December 15 they are celebrating the last edition of the year at the iconic Estació de França. The ideal place to find the most authentic and vintage gifts and enjoy a great Sunday. Entrance is free.

Date: December 15 from 11:00 to 20:00
Location: Estación de Francia, Av. del Marquès de l’Argentera, s/n, 08003 Barcelona
Website: http://lostfoundmarket.com/

La Feria de Reyes

La Feria de Reyes

The ‘Three Kings’ Fair’ sets up its 273 stalls along Gran Via (between Muntaner and Rocafort), where you can find a wide range of quality products and ‘almost’ unique gifts for your last-minute Christmas or Kings’ Day needs.
La feria de Reyes de la Gran Via also called ‘Sant Tomàs i Reis’ (St Thomas and Kings) – and also sometimes called the Twelfth Night Fair, is one of the biggest Christmas and New Year markets for gifts and toys in Barcelona.

The Fira de Reis a la Gran Via Christmas Market has around 300 markets stalls and is mostly a shopping market for toys and other traditional ‘Reyes’ gifts like. This market does not have much in the way of Christmas food and drinks or music and being on a busy road it feels like more of a market for locals than tourists. However, it is a great place to get some freshly made churros con chocolate.

You’ll find the fair on from December 20 to January 6, every day from 10am to 9pm, except Saturdays and the night before holidays, when it’s open until 10pm.

Dates: December 20, 2019 to January 6 2020
Opening times: from 10.00 to 22.00 (Saturdays and the night before holidays until 22:00)
Location: On Gran Via between streets Muntaner/Calabria

Three Kings' Parade: a magical celebration

Three Kings' Parade

The most eagerly awaited day (or rather, night) for all the boys and girls is Twelfth Night when the Kings of the Orient come to town.

The city looks stunning on the evening of 5th January when it welcomes their majesties, who parade through the streets accompanied by decorated floats with musical parades, street performers, jugglers. The Three Kings parade on 5th January is Barcelona’s Christmas parade on the eve of the 12th day of Christmas.

On 5th January the shops and shopping centres stay open until late so the Kings can buy all the presents they’ll need. Along the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, between Carrer Muntaner and Carrer Calàbria, there is a night-time market, the Fira de Reis, where their majesties can find last-minute presents.

The Epiphany Fair, the Fira de Reis, is the place where the Three Kings find their last-minute gifts. January 6th is a holiday so young and old alike can enjoy a magical day and another sweet tradition: the tortell de Reis, a ring-shaped cake filled with marzipan topped with candied fruit.

There are two surprises inside, a tiny figurine of a king and a broad bean. The person who finds the figurine gets to wear the crown. But the person who finds the bean… pays for the cake! Although, if you are one of the latter, believe us, it will have been well worth it.

2020 Parade details not announced yet.

Date: January 5, 2020
Parade start at: Av. Marques de l’Argentera at park Parc de la Ciutadella
Parade start time: 18:00 – 21:30 (6 pm to 9.30 pm)

Els Pastorets: traditional home-grown Nativity play

The traditional Nativity play tells of the birth of Jesus set against the backdrop of the battle between angels and demons who depict good and evil. The story dates back to medieval times but became particularly popular in the late 17th century. Els Pastorets are performed in many venues around the city, including community centres, churches and theatres. You can also see these scenes in shop windows, churches, restaurants and bars, and all over the city.

Suggested locations:
– The Nativity in the Plaça Sant Jaume
– The Museu Frederic Marès Nativity
– Pedralbes Monastery Nativity
– Living Nativity at the Poble Espanyol

Sants Innocents

In Catalonia, the 28th of December is a day for high-spirited fun. People play practical jokes and pranks on one another: even the newspapers get in on the act by publishing fake news stories! There is another tradition (although much less widespread nowadays) consisting of sticking a cut-out newspaper figure, known as a llufa, on people’s backs without them realising.

Christmas in Poble Espanyol

Poble Espanyol Christmas Food

Poble Espanyol starts Christmas celebrations from December 21. It is a perfect place to enjoy your holidays with your family. Lots of activities for kids, live music, food and shopping. In addition, as a novelty this year, there will be the show Euphoria, which combines theater, dance, acrobatics and circus with a powerful story starring girls and teenagers.

Dates and opening times:
– Saturday, December 21 from 10:00 to 20:00
– Sunday, December 22 from 10:00 to 20:00
– Monday, December 23 from 10:00 to 20:00
– Tuesday, December 24 from 10:00 to 18:00
– Thursday, December 26 from 10:00 to 18:00
– Friday, December 27 from 10:00 to 20:00
– Saturday, December 21 from 10:00 to 20:00
– Sunday, December 22 from 10:00 to 20:00

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