Christmas Traditions in Catalonia: Learn all about them when you visit Barcelona!

Although there’s still some time until Christmas, it’s not too early to start planning your holiday. Especially if you’re planning to visit Barcelona for the holidays, you’ll definitely want to find out how Catalonia celebrates! Let’s learn about some of the stand-out Christmas traditions so you can celebrate 2019 differently. Come stay at central boutique hotel in Barcelona and we guarantee you’ll have a truly special Christmas season.

Christmas in Catalonia is intimately connected to food, as well as with certain events and symbols. Below we’ll review some of the more interesting traditions you’ll experience if you decide to spend the holidays in Barcelona.

Putting up a nativity scene with the ‘caganer’

Putting up a nativity scene is one of the more widespread Christmas traditions. However, in Catalonia, the re-creation of the birth of Jesus can’t take place without a few distinctive characters. First of all, a nativity scene is not complete without a caganer, which is the figure of a shepherd crouched down on the point of doing his business. Far from being considered offensive, this figure symbolizes a good harvest, illustrating the process of fertilizing the earth.

The Christmas markets

Another tradition is going to the Christmas markets, whether to get decorations for a nativity scene or Christmas tree, or simply to enjoy the spirit of the season. In Barcelona the Feria de Santa Lucía is very popular, which is located at the Plaza de la Catedral.

Christmas in Barcelona 2019

Christmas Eve and the ‘caga tio’

Christmas Eve is also celebrated with enthusiasm in Catalonia. It is one of the highlights of the holiday season. Families come together around a table full of delicious food, including appetizers, roasts, and nougat candies. The caga tio is the hero of the night, a log with a smiling face who brings sweets and gifts to all. According to tradition, the caga tio comes to your home on December 8th and needs to be fed nougat until Christmas Eve so that he will produce plenty of sweets.

The Diada de Nadal and San Esteban

On December 25th people celebrate the Diada de Nadal with one of the major family meals of the year. The traditional meal is escudella i carn d’olla, a soup that helps relieve the excesses of the night before. December 26th is San Esteban. On this day, the traditional food is canelones made with leftovers from the previous days. And they must be cooked by the single people in the household!

These are the major Christmas traditions in Catalonia. Now all that’s left is to get ready for the New Year! Enjoy the end of the year celebrations in Barcelona and stay at our luxury guesthouse in Parallel.

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