Easter Traditions in Barcelona


Catalan Easter has its own traditions differ from other parts in Spain.


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Las Monas de Pascua

This is the main tradition of Easter in Catalonia, and these days the Monas can be found all over Spain. However, the tradition is celebrated same way everywhere. The godparent gifts the Mona de Pascua to her or his godchildren on Easter Sunday. In Catalonia the Mona is usually gifted on Easter Monday.

The traditional version of La Mona de Pascua is a round cake, similar to a big doughnut, with hard boiled eggs on it. Originally the number of eggs on the cake was symbolizing the age of the godchild.

Today the Catalan versions are artistically created chocolate pieces of art. You can see them in every bakery and cake shop window. The Catalans even have competitions about who makes the most fascinating Mona de Pascua.

You can try this recipe, if you want to try to do your own Mona de Pascua.


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Vella Quaresma

This is a Catalan tradition with a literal translation “Old Woman Lent”. Vella Quaresma is a lady having seven legs, each of them symbolizing one week of the seven weeks lasting lent before Easter. Every week kids get to remove one of the legs.

The lent is a Catholic tradition and during it it’s prohibited to eat eggs or meat,  and that’s why the Old Woman is carrying a cod or sardines in her hands for reminding kids of the fact. Kids are warned that if they don’t follow the rules of the lent, the Old Woman Lent will come and take them away.


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Traditional Food

Because during the lent it’s prohibited to eat meat or eggs, the traditional Catalan Easter dishes are made of fish. Especially on Good Friday the restaurants will serve fantastic fish dishes. Cod cooked in different forms is the most common and traditional fish. Try it with chickpeas, potatoes or as salted.

“Esqueixada de Bacallà” is a typical Catalonian dish made with raw cod. The cod pieces are companied with some tomato, onion, peppers, olives, salt, vinegar and a dressing.

“Bunyols de Quaresmas” are a Catalan equivalent to Spanish Torrijas. The Bunyols are kind of doughnuts with a little bit of anis flavor. You can buy them from almost every bakery in Barcelona.



From here you can read about Easter masses and processions in Barcelona and from here about Easter opening hours.



Planning to travel to Barcelona for Easter, and all but an apartment is already reserved? Habitat Apartments offers a wide variety of fully equipped apartments all around the city of Barcelona. Have a look for example on this excellent apartment, where sleeps comfortable eight persons. The apartment is located in the exclusive Eixample neighborhood.

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