Christmas in Barcelona is one of the most popular time to come and enjoy Barcelona. Preparation begins approximately a month in advance. The most important sign of approaching Christmas is the opening of the central Christmas fair in Barcelona. It passes in the downtown, on the square in front of the cathedral. This fair is called Fair de Santa Lucia.
This market is one of the most known in Barcelona. It is located directly in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona. Fira de Santa Lucia exists since 1786 which makes this market one of the oldest in Europe. Today, as well as in ancient times, you can buy figures of Saints, plants and Christmas trees, ceramics and even the whole scene with the image of Christmas to decorate your home.
If you visit Barcelona during Christmas time make sure to visit the fair, you will spend your time in cheering Christmas atmosphere. Besides you could bring as a gift from Barcelona to your family original gifts, souvenirs, handmade products.
Another important fair is Sagrada Familia Fair. The Christmas fair in front of Sagrada Familia is smaller, than Fira de Santa Lucia, but also very charming. It is generally focused on figures for Christmas scenes, but you will also find variety of honey, candles and sweets. It takes place in front of majestic Cathedral of Holy Family which looks very impressive.
Besides Christmas decorations, you can find traditional Spanish and Catalan sweets. The most important one is turron. It is traditionally made of egg white, honey, sugar and almonds. Some of them add chocolate. It’s the real symbol of Spanish Christmas lunch time.
The “Kings Fair” on Gran Via Avenue was first time organized in 1877.It counts with about 200 trade tents where it is possible to get everything: decorations, toys, ceramics, jewelry… While visiting the fair you can enjoy walking down the avenue with a mug of hot chocolate and churros. This fair is located in Gran Via Avenue, between Urgell and Muntaner.
Besides visiting fairs, Barcelona citizens also have other Christmas traditions. For example ¨Caga Tio¨.It is a tree trunk, with the smiling face and in a traditional festive hat. On Christmas Eve children begin to beat Caga Tio with a stick to receive Christmas sweets.
As in most of the world, families gather around the lunch table and enjoy a great time together on the 25th of December. The traditional Christmas dish is called Escudella de Navidad. It consists of stewed meat in a pan, with vegetables and big pasta cones. Best bottles of wine and cava are served on that day.
The most traditional sweets on a Christmas table are turron and also marzipan.
Another festive tradition is Christmas lotteries. The main lottery is the Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad, “El gordo”. Many people that during the year never play on lottery, they buy at this time a note “décimo”.
You can buy it in the proper lottery shops or in many restaurants, bars, bakeries… The lottery day is on the 22nd of December. Every owner of the ticket secretly believes that El gordo (the jackpot) will drop out to him. One more traditional lottery is Loteria del Niño which is played on the Kings Day.