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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.
Running since 2012, Llum BCN is a festival of light that aims to counter the darkness of winter with the splendour of light (llum means 'light' in Catalan) reflected on some of the city's most beautiful buildings and spaces. This year the Llum BCN festival takes place again at the Poblenou neighbourhood, a district currently immersed in an intense process of transformation.
The citizens of Barcelona will soon be able to discover the force that light has to transform public spaces through artistic installations, projections and mappings by national and international artists. And as a demonstration of Barcelona’s emerging talent, students from 14 of the city’s colleges of art, lighting, design and architecture are using nothing else but light to present their intervention projects in the space. Overall, it provides us with a reflection on art, society and new technologies - in short, contemporary life. Don't miss it!
Carnival, a festivity based on the lunar calendar and eagerly anticipated by Catalans, always begins on a Thursday (Fat Thursday) and ends on the following Wednesday (Ash Wednesday).
Carnival is synonymous with partying, bustling crowds, costumes, parades and so on. In short, it is a week given over to hedonism and having a good time being the forerunner to the period of fasting and deprivation represented by the Christian tradition of Lent. These days, beyond the excesses, Carnival is a light-hearted popular festival based around the crazy figure named El Rei Carnestoltes (The Carnival King). While carnival is celebrated in almost every town and village throughout Catalonia, the places that historically stand out for their particular traditions are Barcelona, Sitges, Vilanova i la Geltrú and Torelló. However, wherever you may be during the festivities, you will be able to try some of the delicious traditional Carnival dishes: the coca de llardons (flatbread with pancetta) or botifarra d'ou (pork sausage containing egg).
Barcelona Carnival: The official dates for this year are 20/2 to 26/2. The Rei Carnestoltes arrives in the Passeig del Born with his entourage comprising seven ambassadors who symbolize the seven historical towns within the city (Horta, Sant Andreu, Sarrià, Gràcia, Sants, les Corts and Sant Martí). There are also further parades that take place in different places throughout the city. Carnival is also evident in the markets of Barcelona which are full of people letting their hair down, costumes, tastings and a frenetic rhythm. On Sunday night you can experience the wild party known as the "gran sarao".
Sitges: The Carnival King arrives in Sitges at 19:00 on 20 February. From that point on you can join the parade. Throughout the whole weekend there are a range of activities to suit any and every audience: concerts, cookery demonstrations, races using decorated beds and costumes, lots and lots of costumes.
Torelló: This town in the Barcelona county of Osona has its own name for the Carnival: the Carnaval de Terra Endins (the inland carnival). The Carnival King bursts into a council session being held in the City Hall, relieves the mayor of his duties and takes over for seven days. The parade held in Torelló is a participative one in which anybody can join in and which includes all kinds of representations of mythical beasts.
Vilanova i la Geltrú: In this municipality of the Garraf region (Barcelona), the carnival is organized by the local community and always includes a high level of social comment. The most meaningful event for them is Les Comparses (carnival troupe) in which more than 10,000 pairs of comparseros take to the streets accompanied by charanga brass bands, while throwing candy to the crowds.
The origins of the Fiestas of Santa Eulàlia are rooted in the legend of Barcelona's second patron saint and are a focal point for the city's main winter celebrations.
The festivities take place between 7 and 12 February over a weekend full of activities rooted in popular culture and traditions, with a children's audience very much in mind: giants, the correfoc (groups of ‘demons’ letting off fireworks in the streets) and human tower builders. There are also folkloric dance groups, the ‘colles bastoneres’ who have invited dance troupes from all over to take part in the first ever Diada bastonera de Santa Eulàlia as a celebration of the art.
This year also marks the centenary celebrations of the New Giants of the House of Charity which coincide with the 160th anniversary of the Gegants Vells (Old Giants).
The 62st Edition Internacional Vintage Car Rally Barcelona - Sitges will take place from 21 to 23 March.The Barcelona-Sitges Vintage Car Rally was first held in 1959 as an initiative of the Sitges Tourist Board. The rally was created in order to give the town a social event it could take part in during the winter months and to fulfil the wishes of many vintage car aficionados who wanted to take part in an event of this kind and enjoy their vehicles.
Vintage Car Rally Barcelona-Sitges is an event with characteristics that makes it unique in the world and once again the Promotion of Tourism in Sitges, organized with the full consciousness of the effort and pride represented by participants to be on the lists of registered. In fact it is a unique not only for its competitive nature, but also the spectacular cars participants. It seems that back to the early twentieth century when the vehicle he was in was a pleasure and a recreation and why not say it, a luxury. Again, a caravan of historic cars , all manufactured before 1928 will forty kilometers separating the two municipalities sailors, a test that are especially valued and aesthetic aspects of time and speed.
Dijous Gras (Fat Thursday) marks the beginning of the awaited Carnival festivities week.It is a tradition on this Thursday to eat sausage and Spanish omelet.Carnival is very dear to the people of Barcelona, and many neighborhoods organize banquets and serve hot chocolate with the contribution of everyone. Other places will offer leisure activities including Carnival makeup workshops, concerts and performances. And in the district of Sarrià, Fat Thursday concludes with a meal of "butifarra de huevo" (egg sausage).Immerse yourself tradition!
The area around the l’Arc del Triomf, where the majority of Barcelona's Chinese community live, is the stage for the 1st of February celebrations involving lots of entertainment and cultural activities to ring in the Chinese new year. This is one of the most important dates in the traditional calendar for our Chinese neighbors, which begins in the year 4718, the year of the Rat and is a symbol of spirituality and good luck. Parades, shows and a food and cultural fair are some of the programmed activities designed to help the city experience the cultural roots of Chinese culture first hand.
There are two official languages in Catalonia: Catalan and Spanish, and there are more and more people in the region who understand and speak English. You’re sure to get by.
One of the symbols of Barcelona, a meeting place for locals and visitors alike where people also flock to celebrate the victories of the Catalan team, Futbol Club Barcelona, Barça. The Canaletes Fountain has become one of Barcelona's most visited landmarks.
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