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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.
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.
During almost four months, this popular festival welcomes jazz musicians from around the world and enables local artists to showcase their talents. The festival has become a world-leading event in this genre thanks to the talent on display and its appealing line-up with new offerings every year. With activities of all kinds, such as concerts, master classes, conferences or meetings with the artists, the Voll Damm Barcelona Jazz Festival is without a doubt the perfect event for enjoying the best jazz and listening to great music.
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.
A large area, totally free of traffic, with different places to explore, most of them in the open air. That's the Poble Espanyol de Barcelona, an iconic visitor attraction in the heart of Montjuïc. Every Sunday, there's a different activity: theatre, dance, music, magic, treasure hunts, etc. Throughout the year there are loads of activities to ensure you have a great day out with the family: Carnival, a Giants' Parade, a Puppet Festival, the Click and Go Fair, the Main Festival, the Medieval Fair, Christmas at the Poble, Halloween... and new additions, including a fantastic flower festival and Midsummer Eve party tailored to all the family. In short, a wide range of activities for all the family.
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