Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Market in Barcelona

OK, so maybe I'm leaving it late to blog about the Christmas fair in Barcelona as it's already been going since just after advent started (28th November) but I'm just starting to feel Christmasy and wanted to do a bit of research instead of the usual comment with a terrible photo from my phone!

Santa Llúcia Christmas Fair in 1945 - Photo Credit Official Website/Artesania Bertran

Tha Catalans certainly have some strange Christmas Traditions. From the Cagatio to the Caganers, it's great fun at Christmas - and even more fun for the kids. There are also the typical things associated with Christmas such as trees, decorations, Nativity Scenes and lights and if there's anything you might be missing for your home, then like many cities around the world this month, Barcelona has it's Christmas fair. The Fair is right in front of the Cathedral, in the heart of the gothic quarter.

The fair is called the "Fira de Santa Llúcia" and is the oldest themed fair in the world, dating as far back as 1786!! So this year marks the 223rd edition of the fair and is a must-see for anyone visiting the city this winter. Expect to see the usual christmas plants such as poinsettias and misteltoe, Christmas Trees of different sizes, and wreaths galore. The fair also has musical stalls with traditional instruments, jewellery, hand made goods, etc. but perhaps the most interesting artefacts are those ornaments for the Nativity scene.

The official website (link above) has some great little tidbits of history, such as the wave of yellow fever sweeping through the city in 1860 not halting the fair, and that the fair was known as a "girls" fair, where young girls would go along to the fair in their best dresses accompanied by their mothers looking for suiters!

The fair has over 270 stands and is well worth a trip down to see it. Make sure you get some chocolate and churros for the browse around, and choose your favourite caganer!! FC Barcelona striker Pedro might be a surprise addition if they don't already have one, with him scoring last night he's become the first player in history to score in all football competitions in one season. Congrats Pedro!

Have you been to the Christmas market yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and what you think of the funny traditions over here! And if you're coming to Barcelona this month, be sure to check out apartments for rent in Barcelona for any last minute deals.


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