Imagine a market devoted exclusively to Christmas, draped in Christmas lights and pulsing with the good cheer of arguably Spain’s most festive season.
The Catalan Christmas Shacks
If you want to know more about these, you can read about them in a recent post we wrote called “Christmas in Barcelona: Magical Markets, Fecal Figurines, Generous Logs and More”.
If you’re looking to give someone a souvenir from Barcelona, few gifts are as culturally accurate and relevant as a caganer.
Children cap off Christmas Day (or Christmas Eve, depending on family tradition) by battering old cagatío with a stick until the stubborn log “poops” out candy and other little treasures. The aforementioned link above has a nice little video of the song kids traditionally sing as they pummel the log.
Nativity Scenes and Decorations
You’ll see dozens of stalls at the Christmas markets solely devoted to nativity scene. Handmade stables and handmade figures are plentiful and they come in, as the old saying goes, all shapes and sizes. Other decorations are on display at the Christmas fare as well.
The markets are the place to go to buy a Christmas tree. They come in varying heights and styles, with each tree commanding its own price.
Trees are bought at the stalls, netted by the vendor and then are hauled home — either by foot, car, or public transportation — to brighten the living rooms of Barcelona’s residents.
The culprits of these moments of mouthwatering delight are usually three: chestnuts (which are literally roasted on an open fire), sweet potatoes slowly cooked over coals and Nutella-filled churros, crepes and the like from a churreria truck.
Christmas Market Schedules
Barcelona Cathedral Christmas Market
Sagrada Familia Christmas Market
The Sagrada Familia market is open from daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The market’s last day is Dec. 23.
Gran Via Christmas Market
The Gran Via market is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The market’s last day is Jan. 6.
Plaza Catalunya Ice-Skating Rink
The Plaza Catalunya skating rink is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with an extended closing time of 11 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and holidays. The rink is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. The rink is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Christmas Day.
Cagatío photo credit: Ajuntament Barcelona, Flickr Creative Commons
Christmas trees photo credit: denAsuncioner, Flickr Creative Commons
Caganers/Nativity photo credit: Jesús Corrius, Flickr Creative Commons
Chestnuts photo credit: nesimo, Flickr Creative Commons