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The Spanish tradition of the Three Wise Men would not be the same without the Fair of the Three Wise Men that is organized every year along the avenue Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, between the streets of Muntaner and Rocafort. There you can find all kinds of toys, gifts, handicrafts and Christmas typical products. If you want, it is also possible to bring new toys to the stands of solidarity there.
In Catalonia and Spain, the night of the January 5th is the most important day for all the children because the Three Wise Men visit every home and leave presents and toys for them while they sleep. According to the tradition, the previous days the children have to write a letter to Their Majesties the Three Wise Men asking for the presents they want and guaranteeing they have behaved well during the year that is ending. Otherwise, the Three Wise Men (that know everything) will leave them sweet coal instead of presents.
Since times have changed, today the children can send their letter via email or through the website of the Three Wise Men, as well as via regular mail or through a royal page. The Fair of the Three Wise Men is also open on the night of January 5th until 3 am, in case Their Majesties have any last minute emergency.
Before the end of the summer, the different districts and neighbourhoods of the city will celebrate their patron saint festivities. During September, these celebrations are the preview of the city's great festivity, la Mercè. This is the case of the Horta, Poble Nou and the Gràcia area (including La Salut, Vallcarca and Penitents districts). During October, Les Corts and Sarrià. In November Sant Andreu de Palomar.
All these neighbourhoods dress their streets for the celebration and for a few days they are brimming with activities, music, concerts, popular dinners and games for the young ones. This tradition is much loved by the people of Barcelona, as it allows for more interaction between neighbours and direct participation, all thanks to their pride for belonging to the same neighbourhood.
It is said that this is the most magical night of the year, and these three characters are definitely to 'blame'. The Three Kings are enthusiastically welcomed by children and adults every 5 January, just a few hours before they visit our homes bringing gifts for everyone who has been good during the rest of the year.
The afternoon of the 5th of January, the Three Kings, with the amazing entourage, will reach the city by sea on the Pailebot Santa Eulàlia. Once finished the Welcome Ceremony, they will parade around the city, giving sweets to the children as a prelude to this unique night.
The Three King's floats, magnificently decorated, reflect all of the excitement and magic of this special tradition. Weeks beforehand, boys and girls have sent their letter to the Three Kings, asking for their gifts and at last they will see them in real life.
On the sixth, Three Kings Day, there is always the traditional Three Kings Cake (Tortell de Reis) made with marzipan, candied fruit and pine nuts, a typical delicacy of this special holiday. The cake contains two hidden surprises: a dry bean and a figurine (normally representing one of the Kings). According to tradition, the one who finds the figurine inside their portion is crowned king or queen while the one who finds the bean has to pay for the cake.
Under the structure of an emblematic market with iron casting architecture of the 19th century, the archaeological site of 1700 Barcelona is found, which is unique in Europe, along with the old market, the memory of the events of 1714 and exhibitions, all located at El Born Centre Cultural, a new and exceptional historic venue that links three centuries of history.
Barcelona 1700. From stones to people:
An exhibition to recall Barcelona society of the 18th century, that was a dynamic and modern society, but also marked by the wars suffered between 1691 and 1714.
The exhibition includes around 1,800 objects that have provided valuable new information to portray everyday life and how the people of Barcelona lived three centuries ago. Linked to the permanent exhibition at the foot of the site, there will also be three exhibition areas displaying various objects. The most remarkable is the Sala de la Guerra (War Room), where a selection of over three hundred bombs are exhibited, of different sizes, types and materials which were discovered during the excavation.
The exhibition is structured in three major areas: La Gran Casa (The Home), La Ciutat pròspera (The prosperous City), La vida quotidiana (Everyday life), La Ciutat atacada i mutilada (The attacked and mutilated City) and La Ciutat refeta (The rebuilt City).
Beside the decorated tree, Catalan houses also display a Nativity Scene at Christmas; the representation with figures to recreate the birth of Jesus. Streets, squares, churches and entities of the city each prepare their own Nativity Scene, some with real people acting as figures. The most famous one is in the Plaça Sant Jaume, but there are many others such as the Iglesia de Belen, the Pia Almoina, Associació de Pessebristes de Barcelona, Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Pedralbes, or Poble Espanyol. There are also scenes that underline a particular feature, such as the Nativity Scene of the Casa dels Entremesos, which has a touch of humour with the giant figures of Ciutat Vella.
Undoubtedly a tradition that deserves exploring this Christmas.
The European Museum of Modern Art, the MEAM, located in a Baroque building of the 18th century (Palau Gomis), is offering more than contemporary figurative art. A series of activities related to music is planned throughout the year, to enjoy a different kind of program.
Every Friday evening, the museum is filled with music. The Friday's Blues cycle offers the possibility of enjoying a concert of bluegrass blues, swing and jazz. Bands bring their instruments to accompany the works and fill the museum with music for visitors to enjoy. Saturday evenings are reserved for classical music. The concerts usually start at half-past five and include an afternoon snack.
Before the concerts, you can visit the collection exhibiting the best of contemporary figurative art. This is a feature of MEAM and highlights it from other contemporary art museums.
In 2009, the health care activity of the Modernist Enclosure of Hospital de la Santa Creu and Sant Pau moved to modern facilities located northeast of the architectural site. Since then, the monumental site of pavilions constructed by Domènech i Montaner, a Unesco World Heritage site, provide their unique spaces of outstanding artistic and heritage value, to hold congresses, courses, events, knowledge centres, but also for guided tours and activities for everyone.
Barcelona Obertura Classic and Lyric is a new venture that brings together the city's key classical music venues: the Gran Teatre del Liceu, L'Auditori and the Palau de la Música Catalana. Already well-known to many for their top-class performances, this latest association aims to extend their global reach and reputation even further, and demonstrate Barcelona's wealth of classical music programming.
Winter in Barcelona opens the season 2019, a season full of unmissable events such as Madame Butterfly hosted by Liceu, Emmanuel Pahud & Eric Le Sage hosted by L'Auditori and Magdalena Kozená & Mitsuko Uchida hosted by Palau de la Música Catalana.
Inaugurated years ago as the world's first film festival dedicated to the fantastic genre, today it's become the region's biggest celebration of the moving image. The picturesque seaside town of Sitges, 30 minutes down the coast from Barcelona, hosts hundreds of films from around the globe, including animation, rom-com and gangster as well as its core themes of gore, horror and fantasy.
This year's event, the 51st, celebrates the anniversaries of various iconic movies, including John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), which is also tied into a retrospective on slasher films, and 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Night of the Living Dead, both released in 1968. Organisers are also using the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein to explore the role of women in many of the movies based on the seminal novel.
Running in parallel to the screenings are exhibitions, master classes and Q&A sessions, special events focused on television series, the chance to see films using virtual reality technology, plus a crowded Zombie Walk through the streets of Sitges.
It dates back to over half a century and can boast that it offers live music 356 days a year. The Sala Jamboree is the Barcelona temple of jazz par excellence, where great legends and young promises of jazz have played. Figures like Bill Coleman, Kenny Drew, Chet Baker, Ponny Poindexter, Art Farmer, Lou Bennet, Stéphan Grappelli, Kenny Clarke, Cecil Taylor, Elvin Jones, Steve Grossman and Al FosGordon have all been on stage.
All styles are represented, from vanguard to Dixieland passing through bop, fusion, vocal jazz, mainstream, nu-jazz, tango-jazz, flamenco jazz and Latin jazz, without forgetting other Afroamerican styles such as blues and gospel.
This venue is a cultural benchmark of Barcelona, which won the Gold Medal of the city.
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