Easter in Barcelona 2024: Processions, Traditions & Best Things To Do

Easter procession in the Raval neighbourhood

Easter, or Semana Santa as it’s known locally, is Spain’s most important religious festival. The celebrations, which date back to the sixteenth century, include sombre processions with ornate floats commemorating Jesus Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. The most famous Easter Week celebrations take place in Andalucia, in southern Spain. However, cities throughout…

Myths and Legends of Barcelona

Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

With over two thousand years of history, it’s no wonder that Barcelona has more than its fair share of myths, legends and superstitions. From the squares and alleyways of the Gothic Quarter to the peak of Mount Tibidabo, in this post, we uncover the best-known stories. The Vampire of Barcelona At the beginning of the…

Barcelona Light Festival 2024 : LLum BCN Poblenou

Barcelona Light Festival LLum BCN

Barcelona’s Festival of light Llum BCN takes place in February in the Poblenou neighbourhood. When darkness falls, buildings, streets, and plazas are transformed by large-scale projections and audio-visual displays created by local and international artists and students from Barcelona’s art, architecture, and design schools. The festival started out as part of the annual Festes de…

Fira de La Candelera – Molins de Rei

Calçots and other local vegetables, Fira de la Candelera

La Fira de la Candelera takes place in Molins de Rei during the first weekend of February. Traditionally this is an important date for farmers and rural communities because it marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. La Candelera (English: Candlemas) is a Roman Catholic holiday celebrated on the 2nd of…

The Tres Tombs Horse Parade

Every January, in towns and cities across Spain, animals take to the streets to celebrate the feast of St Anthony Abbot. Saint Anthony was a Roman Catholic monk born in Egypt in the 3rd century and is the patron saint of (among others) domestic animals, basket weavers, farmers, grave diggers and the sick. Several towns…

A Storybook Christmas in La Plaça de Sant Jaume

This year's nativity scene at La Plaça de Sant Jaume

Each December Christmas takes to the streets and plazas of Barcelona in the form of markets, lights, trees and pessebres (nativity scenes). The word pessebre means crib in Catalan and most of the nativity scenes which can be seen in Barcelona follow the traditional format of stable, manger, 3 kings, cows, shepherds etc… One notable…

Christmas Lights 2013

Plaça de Catalunya

Barcelona’s Christmas lights were officially switched on by the mayor on November 22nd 2013 . This year there are a total of 85kms of illuminations and most of Barcelona’s main shopping streets have displays. The best known are in the centre of the city on Passeig de Gracia, Portal de l’Àngel, Las Ramblas, Carrer Aragó…

The Nativity Scene at Plaça Sant Jaume

The giant nativity scene at Plaça Sant Jaume

Every December a giant Nativity scene or “Pesebre” is installed in Plaça Sant Jaume. The design changes each year and never fails to surprise. In 2013 the Pesebre depicted life on Barcelona’s rooftops and is one of the most original and interesting that I’ve seen to date. The traditional characters are all represented but with a…

Curling One Out For Christmas !

A collection of traditional caganers

If you thought that Southpark’s “Mr. Hankey” was the only toilet related Christmas character – Think again ! The Catalan Christmas tradition includes 2 poo-related characters: The Caganer or “Shitter”- A cheeky figure that first appeared in Catalan nativity scenes during the 18th Century. Caga Tió – The Catalan equivalent of Father Christmas ! The…

Christmas Markets in Barcelona 2024

A Selection of "Caganers"

Barcelona is a great place for Christmas shopping, with a wide range of shops and department stores catering to all budgets and tastes. There are also several traditional Christmas markets that take place every year. La Fira de Santa Llucia The Market of Saint Lucia is Barcelona’s oldest Christmas market and dates back to the…

Catalonia’s National Day – La Diada de Catalunya

Human towers in front of the El Born Cultural Centre - La Diada 2016

Every year on the 11th of September, thousands of Barcelona residents take to the streets to celebrate a public holiday called La Diada de Catalunya or National Day of Catalonia. Often refered to as simply La Diada, the day comemorates the fall of Barcelona to the French and Castilian troops of Phillip V of Spain during the War…

L’Ou Com Balla: Dancing Eggs !

Dancing Egg Number 5 - The Cloisters of Barcelona Cathedral

If you like quirky and unusual traditions then you’ll love L’Ou Com Balla aka The Dancing Egg which takes place every year as part of Barcelona’s Corpus Christi celebrations. Basically the idea is that an egg is placed in a fountain and dances suspended by a jet of water. There are a total of 12 eggs…

Human Towers at the Sagrada Familia

The base of a Castell tower

The Festa Mayor de la Sagrada Familia (festival of the Sagrada Familia district) started this weekend. The festival lasts from the 19th of April until the 6th of May and kicked off with a display of human towers called castells in front of the Sagrada Familia Basilica. Castells are built by teams called colles who perform…