Our concierge will inform you about the most important Local Events in Barcelona
- DIA DE REYES
6 of January
The Three Wise Men is the name traditionally given to the three visitors who, following the birth of Jesus, arrived from foreign countries to pay homage to him and bring him gifts of great symbolic value: gold, frankincense and myrrh. In some countries there is a tradition of representing the Wise Men bringing children the presents that they have requested in their letters on the night before the Epiphany.
- SEMANA SANTA / LUNES DE PASCUA
Holy Week is the annual commemoration in the Christian calendar of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. This makes it a period of intense liturgical activity for all Christian denominations. It begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Holy Saturday.
Although the main ingredient of a “Mona de Pascua” (Easter Cake) is chocolate, the first “monas” that appeared in Aragon, Catalonia and other regions of Spain were made from savoury bread dough which later became sponge dough and hard-boiled eggs, which were a symbol of fertility in the pagan world. Later on, chocolate – which came to Europe from the Americas via Barcelona – was added. It was in the late-nineteenth century that the custom of making pieces of chocolate in the shape of eggs emerged in France.
It is customary for godfathers to give their godchild a mona made from dark chocolate.
- SANT JORDI
23 of April
Traditionally in Catalonia St George’s Day (La Diada de Sant Jordi, as it is known here) is the day of lovers, when people give their partners and loved ones presents of roses and books. It is traditional for men to give a rose to a woman and for her to give a book in return. It is believed that the tradition of giving the woman you love a rose goes back as far as the fifteenth century.
- SANT JOAN
24 of June
St John’s Day (La revetlla de Sant Joan) is one of Catalonia’s most celebrated. Throughout the region all types of festivals and traditions are held at which friends and family get together. The most widespread traditional type of celebration is the setting off of tonnes of fireworks and the holding of more-or-less spontaneous bonfires in village streets and squares. St John’s Day celebrations in Catalonia are never short of various types of coca de Sant Joan (traditional St John’s Day cake)..
- LA MERCE
24 of September
La Mercè has been Barcelona’s largest festival since 1871, when the city’s government prepared for the first time a programme of events to mark the feast of the Mother of the Merciful God (La Mare de Déu de la Mercè).
In 1902 this was given a further boost with unprecedented parades, including the first appearance in Catalonia of “gegants i capgrossos” (paper maché giants), the first “Castell” (human tower) competition and the importation of a dance that was spreading throughout Catalonia from the Emporda region: the Sardana. The holiday has enjoyed immense local popularity ever since.
The recently introduced traditions that have had the greatest impact are the annual Catalan Wine Fair, a special “correfoc” (“devil” costumes incorporating fireworks), a marathon, and the particularly popular “Piromusical” (a spectacular fireworks display coordinated with Montjuïc’s Illuminated Fountains, both synchronised with the chosen music).
- LA CASTAÑADA / TODOS LOS SANTOS
31 of october / 1 of November
One of the most characteristic customs of All Saints’ Day (Diada de Todos los Santos) in Catalonia is celebrating the castañada (chestnut day).
The chestnut is one of the most typical signs of autumn. Not long ago the chestnut was a common sight in the streets of villages around this time. These days, chestnuts are sold toasted, hot and wrapped in paper from small carts in every town and village in Catalonia.
In the majority of villages, people celebrate the castañada at home. Toasted chestnuts and panellets (small cakes or cookies in different shapes – mostly round – made mainly of marzipan) are eaten, accompanied by sweet wines, muscatel, Grenache or home-made Mistelle.
In some villages, bonfires of wood are even lit the previous day in the square and the chestnuts are roasted. People eat them around the bonfire whilst drinking sweet wine, following the traditional local celebrations and dancing.