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Following the Catalan tradition of stands devoted to the Christmas holidays, the fair of the Sagrada Família offers many types of complements, from figures and accessories for the traditional nativity scenes to Christmas trees and various decorations. The handicrafts from different countries and by different artists also stand out. The festive atmosphere around this characteristic area of Barcelona is complemented with stands of craft foods such as torrons, cheeses, cold meats, sweets and chestnuts.
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 most famous fountain of Barcelona becomes more magical than ever during these holidays. The choreographs, in which the movement of water combines with the coloured lights and music, are getting ready for Christmas. The aquatic ballet of the city will dance to classical Christmas carols and other music of today by well-known groups.
Similarly to other years, on 31 December, the fountain will host the New Year's Eve show and on 5 January, the special Three Kings Procession.
During the Christmas school holidays, the museums of the city are offering a very interesting alternative to get out of the house but without going out in the cold. It consists of various activities, workshops and proposals scheduled for these holidays, and which complement the interesting exhibitions currently being held. Many options that will make your Christmas a cultural and artistic adventure.
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.
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