A Storybook Christmas in La Plaça de Sant Jaume

The original story book style nativity scene includes mother and child and carol singers
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 exception is the nativity scene in La Plaça de Sant Jaume which changes every year and is seldom traditional.

Families queuing up to take photos with the nativity scene in front of Barcelona city hall
During the first weekend of December there are often queues to see the nativity scene

This year’s pessebre (2015) consists of three giant children’s pop-up-books, each of which lies open at a page illustrating a scene from the story of Christmas. In one book the three wise men are accompanied by a poem by Josep Vicenç Foix. A second book depicts children playing in the snow and a verse written by Josep María de Sagarra. The crib scene is a modern interpretation of a traditional family Christmas (check out the children playing on the roof terraces).

No Catalan nativity scene would be complete without a caganer, this year the cheeky character is tucked between the pages of one of the books…

The three wise men portrayed pop-up-book style in Barcelona's annual nativity scene in front of the town hall.
The Three Wise Men

The Christmas nativity scene at Plaça de Sant Jaume is open from 10 am to 10 pm and can be visited up until January 6th 2016.

Plaça de Sant Jaume, Barcelona

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