Whoever would like to spend a few pleasant days in Barcelona enjoying the Christmas atmosphere on the streets must absolutely take in several events and know about certain customs from the secular tradition, some of them quite curious.
Outdoor markets where you can find Christmas trees, figures for nativity scenes, decorations for the home and other decor items, in addition to lots of gift ideas. The most famous Christmas markets are: – Santa Llúcia Fair, around the cathedral. – Sagrada Familia Christmas Fair.. – Plaza de Sants Christmas Fair
Tió de Nadal (Christmas Uncle):
Starting on the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, the 8th of December, every night families begin to “feed” a tree trunk decorated with a face on one end, which is usually covered with a blanket so it doesn’t get cold at night. On Christmas Day, the wooden “uncle” is put in the fire and after being hit it with a cane, it produces sweets and nougats for the children.
The traditional dishes at Christmastime are “escudella” stock and its “carn d’olla” (the meat used to make the stock), followed by stuffed capon or turkey. For dessert, the traditional “turrón” nougats are savoured, made with almonds, hazelnuts and honey, or marzipan and candied fruit.
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve is celebrated with meals and parties as people await the sound of the twelve bells tolling on the city’s clocks. At that point, everyone eats 12 “lucky grapes” to the beat of the 12 rings as they toast with cava (sparkling wine) and wish each other a Happy New Year.
Parade of the Three Wise Men
At sundown on the 5th of January, the Three Wise Men arrive in Barcelona and for three hours they parade around the city’s most central streets in their royal carriages, tossing sweets to the children along the wayside.