Christmas Traditions in Barcelona


Catalan Christmas starts officially 8th of December, when the households put the Christmas decorations on place. The traditions are based on spending time with family and friends, good food, and Catalonian specialties.


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Three Kings Parade

“Día de los Reyes Magos” is celebrated 5th of January and it’s the biggest Christmas celebration in all over Spain. In Barcelona it’s celebrated with a big parade trough the city.

Although the public holiday and day for opening the Christmas presents is January 6th, is the 5th the day when the Three Wise Man arrives to Barcelona and large focus of the celebrations is then. In the parade the Three Kings throws sweets and gifts to the children, while everyone is on the streets welcoming them back from their long journey to the East.


El Cant de la Sibil·la and midnight mass

On Christmas Eve 24th of December just before midnight in Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar is possible to hear a five minutes lasting song “El Cant de la Sibil·la”. It is part of the midnight mass in the church.

The midnight mass is called “La Misa del Gallo”, and you can attend it in many churches around Barcelona.


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Nativity Scenes

“Pessebre” is the Catalan name for the Christmas Nativity Scenes. The Nativity Scenes are a big part of Catalonian Christmas traditions.


Plaça de Sant Jaume

The Barcelona’s main Nativity Scene is built up every year on Plaça de Sant Jaume, outside the town hall. It is different every year and the biggest one in Barcelona, taking almost a quarter’s space of the square.

You can see the Nativity Scene from late November until 6th of January and it is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm.


Poble Espanyol

In Poble Espanyol, the Spanish Village in Montjüic, you can see a living Nativity Scene. The streets of the village are turned to a living Nativity Scene, and everywhere is put beautiful Christmas decorations. Poble Espanyol is a very nice attraction especially for kids.

From here you can read more.


Asosiació de Pessebristes de Barcelona

The Barcelona Crib Makers association is setting up Nativity Scene exhibitions in different places around Barcelona.

Artesania de Catalunya’s Nativity Scene is placed on Carrer dels Banys Nous 11, and it will be open from late November to early January. It is centrally located and free of charge.

Església de Betlem is in the address La Rambla 109, and there will be a Nativity Scene from October until early January.


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Caganer and Caga Tió

Caganer, “the pooping man”, is a Catalan Christmas tradition. It often is as a character in the Catalonian Nativity Scenes and it is children’s fun to find the figure from there. The poop of the Caganer is said to bring good luck, as it fertilizes the earth, and along with that brings good luck for the New Year.

Caga Tió, also known as Tió de Nadal, is a “poop log” which poops Christmas presents for the children. They feed the log every evening with Turrón, and keep him warm with a red blanket. On Christmas Eve the children hit the log with sticks and sing a special song, so Caga Tió would poop the Christmas presents.


Sant Esteve and Santos Innocentes

On 26th of December is celebrated the Sant Esteve, Feast of San Esteban. This day is celebrated only in Catalonia. The families come together, and prepares and eats a traditional dinner.

28th of December is day of Santos Innocentes, the Feast of Los Santos Innocentes. It is celebrated similar as the fools day in April in many countries, and even the television and newspapers take part on it.

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