Festive window displays beckon shoppers into their colourful decorated consumer wonderlands. Barcelona is one of Europe’s most popular shopping destinations, and Christmas is an especially busy season. Check out the Fira de Santa Llúcia Christmas market, which takes place from the 30th Nov-23rd Dec, in front of Barcelona Cathedral.
Note that shops are normally closed on Sundays and public holidays in Catalunya, but during the month of December many will open on the 6th, 8th and 21st.
This Christmas log is a smiling hollowed out piece of wood with a red “barretina” hat. Children “feed” him every day from the 8th December and keep him warm with a blanket. On Christmas Eve the children beat him with a stick, singing songs that demand he poops presents…and candy, nuts and figs come pouring out!
A key character in the Catalan nativity scene is the caganer, a small figure defecating discretely behind the crib of baby Jesus. These statues symbolise fertilisation and renewal.
Another tradition is the caga tió, or “pooing log”, a scooped-out small log with a smiling face, covered in a red blanket. As children hit it with a stick and sing a song the log pours out nougat and sweets which are concealed under its cloak.