Christmas is the most magical time of year and, as it cannot be any other way, we like to celebrate it in Barcelona with large gatherings with families and close friends by sharing the good times together. In this way, our city is famous for having many traditions and diverse activities to celebrate Christmas in Barcelona in the most fun and special way possible, find out about them all!
That´s right! But take into account that the official days for celebration in the Christmas period for Barcelona are the 24th (Christmas Eve), 25th (Christmas), 26 (Saints day), 1st Jan (New Year) and 6th Jan (Kings day). As you can see, we have many things to celebrate… So make the most and experience first-hand these amazing parties in Barcelona!
Celebrate Christmas in Barcelona
– Christmas Lights and Nativity of Plaça Sant Juame
One of the most typical and traditional activities that happen during winter in Barcelona is to hit the streets at night, pass through the centre of Barcelona to see the Christmas decorations and the Christmas lights that illuminate the avenues and streets of the city. Also, by the way, people go to finish their Christmas shopping to have it all ready for the 25th.
During your walk through Las Ramblas or the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona it is essential that you visit the traditional Nativity scene that takes place every year at plaça Sant Juame. As you will be able to see, this is not your average Nativity scene, as each year a different artist takes charge and they give it a very modern touch, which usually has controversial overtones (as is the case for the Nativity scene this year).
If you want to live the Barcelonese experience 100%, you must not forget to add some churros and chocolate to your wander through the city.
– Caga tió
Without a doubt, there is no tradition more Catalan than the Caga tió to celebrate Christmas in Barcelona. The “Caga tió” is a wooden log with four legs which has a face drawn on one end, is covered with a blanket and a “barretina” (traditional cap of Catalonia). The legend says that the 8th December you have to start feeding this smiley log with water, fruit, vegetables and sweets, etc.. and so, little by little, it starts to grow and become larger until the end of the 25th December when he needs “to use the toilet”. In order for the log to go to the toilet, all the family join around to sing the song “Go to the toilet uncle” while they hit the log with a stick. Once the song is finished, the blanket is lifted and a gift that the “uncle” has screwed up for that person is taken out. The song goes like this:
“ametlles/avellanes i torró’
no caguis arengades
que són massa salades
que són més bons
ametlles i torró
si no vols cagar
et donaré un cop de bastó
– The Three Wise Men Parade
One of the most widespread traditions throughout Spain is the visit of the Magi, who brings gifts during the night of January 5 to the children who have behaved well, and charcoal they have been naughty. In order to celebrate this tradition, each city of Spain organizes a horseback where for about 1 hour; floats parade through the main streets of the cities with the wise men on their back and throw sweets to the public.
– Christmas Fair of Santa Llucia
This Christmas market specializing in pieces for the nativity scene and ornaments for the Christmas tree is celebrated every year from November 29 and December 23, in the square in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona. With more than 270 Christmas stalls, this is the most important and famous fair of the whole city where you can go to celebrate Christmas in Barcelona and buy everything you need. In addition, this Christmas market, founded in 1786, is the oldest in the world dedicated exclusively to selling pieces of the Nativity scene.
Apart from this Christmas market in the city there are many others, such as the Christmas Fair of the Sagrada Familia or the Fira del Port Vell.
Apart from the activities proposed above, there are many more that can be done to celebrate Christmas in Barcelona, such as going to the theater, celebrating Christmas in the Poble Espanyol, going to a restaurant to dine or skating on the ice rink of Plaza Catalunya that every year they ride during the winter in Barcelona. So do not hesitate and go to the streets of Barcelona to discover the magic of Christmas.