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The Christmas season in Barcelona is special for many reasons. Firstly there are the traditional elements, like the Christmas markets, particularly the Santa Llúcia one by the cathedral, which has been held since 1786 and is where local families go to buy figures for their cribs. Talking of which, pessebres (which is what cribs are called in Catalan) can be seen in places around the city including Plaça Sant Jaume, Frederic Marès Museum and the Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Pedralbes. And pessebres vivents ('living nativity scenes') feature real people (and animals) acting out the Christmas story – if the chance comes up to see one, for example at Poble Espanyol, don't miss it.
On a more modern note, Barcelona is conscious of the need to be environmentally aware at this time of year, and Plaça Catalunya hosts a fair promoting responsible consumption, as well as fun and games for all ages. As the glittering lights brighten the streets at night, why not feast on some roasted chestnuts from one of the stalls around town before enjoying a concert of Christmas music?
Date not yet confirmed.La Fira de Santa Llúcia is a street market which has been held since at least 1786 in front of the Cathedral around Christmas time. You will find Christmas trees on sale there, as well as baubles, wreaths and mistletoe. However, the main attraction of this fair are the pieces used to set up the nativity scene: figurines, moss, the manger, fountains and the ineffable "caganer" that surprises us every year with new incarnations. During the Fair, there will be lots of activities and shows related to Christmas to enjoy, a tió gigante (giant man), dances and musical performances.
The areas of the Pre-Pyrenees and the Pyrenees hold a festival of fire in summer which has been declared as intangible UNESCO cultural Heritage. It involves local people descending with large burning torches (fallas) from the top of the mountain to the village at nightfall. A tradition with rural origins, this ritual is associated with the purification of the fields and woods in order to protect them from evil spirits. This festival has become a magic and light-filled event with mystical connotations featuring a primal light procession. The handmade torches are prepared by people in the village and some can weigh as much as 20 kilograms. Two towns in the area also celebrate this festival on Christmas Eve: Bagà and Sant Julià de Cerdanyola, and on this occasion the tradition is called "Fia-Faia".
Swan Lake is the first of three ballets composed by Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893). Perhaps this explains why, at the time, it was not particularly well received. However, this fairy-tale in which Queen Odette is the victim of a wicked spell that turns her into a swan, has become one of the most popular ballets of all time. On this occasion the choreography of Marius Petipa is recovered, a maestro of French ballet who redefined the original choreography in 1895. The Czech National Ballet brings this choreography to the stage, capturing the essence of this romantic and timeless ballet.
Date not yet confirmed.In the midst of an impassioned debate on sustainability and unchecked consumerism, one of the causes of unprecedented climate change, DrapArt is an attempt to make us view recycling not merely as a critical tool but also from a positive angle linked to art.
Created to focus on art that uses recycled materials and objects, this festival continues to strike a chord over 20 years after its first edition, promoting emerging artists, designers, craftspeople and other creatives from around the world who reuse and recycle their raw materials.
Days of love, peace and relaxation when the family gets together… the Christmas spirit may be universal, but we can't say the same for its traditions. In Catalonia and Barcelona you're sure to be amazed at all our different and unique rituals and customs. Are you ready to find out about them?
Useful vocabulary to spend Chirstmas in Barcelona.
Christmas is one of the most magical times of year, and Christmas in Barcelona is an unforgettable experience. Are your ready to discover all the traditions surrounding the festive season while you try Catalonia's most traditional dishes?
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