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Barcelona Christmas 2013
Barcelona Christmas is a truly special time and there is lot's to see and do. Barcelona is a perfect city for Christmas shopping. Read about Barcelona Christmas events and traditions. In the Catalan language we say "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" like this: “Bon Nadal i Feliç Any Nou." And in Spanish we say “Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo.” TWEET THIS PAGE
Last updated 18th Dec 2013.
On this page you can read about Barcelona Christmas traditions, Christmas markets in Barcelona and New Year parties, traditions, events and parties. > Pictures of Barcelona Christmas
The Spanish and Catalans celebrate Christmas with their own traditions and customs. The 25th of December (El dia de Nadal or El día de Navidad) is celebrated with a Christmas lunch. A real Spanish and Catalan Christmas is not celebrated in December like in many other European countries. In Spain the biggest Christmas celebrations are on the 6th of January, when the Three Kings (Tres Reis Mags) bring presents for the children.
Scroll down page to read about Christmas in Barcelona
> Christmas lights & trees in Barcelona
> Christmas weather in Barcelona
> Christmas markets in Barcelona
> Christmas food & restaurants open at Christmas
> La Misa Del Gallo - Midnight Mass
> The Reyes Magos Parade 2011 Barcelona
> El Pessebre - the crib - nativity scenes
> El Caganer - The “crapper”
> Tió de Nadal - The Christmas log
> L’Home dels Nassos – The Noses Man
> Barcelona New Year traditions
> Barcelona Metro timetable Christmas and New Year
> Barcelona sports events Christmas
> Pictures Christmas in Barcelona
Christmas lights in Barcelona
The Barcelona Christmas lights are called "Els llums de Nadal." Christmas starts in Barcelona when the Christmas lights are turned on every year by the Mayor of Barcelona. In 2013 the Christmas lights will on from Friday 22nd November. The annual Barcelona Shopping Night event kicks off the Christmas shopping with a late night of shopping and festivities on fashionable shopping street Passeig de Gracia. There are Christmas lights on more than 390 locations and streets in Barcelona with illuminations covering a total distance of 85km. The Major of Barcelona will turn on the lights at 6.30pm at La Sagrada Familia in 2013. The famous Magic Fountain of Montjuic is part of the Barcelona Christmas lights with a special Christmas water and music show in December which is free and can be seen on Fridays and Saturdays in December 2013 and on 25th December and 1st January between 19:00 to 21:00. Remember to dress warmly! Another unusual part of Barcelona's Christmas lights is the tower Torre Agbar in the Sant Marti district, which lights up with a special Christmas light show from 18:00 to 23:00.
Christmas trees in Barcelona
The biggest Christmas tree in Barcelona is on Portal del Ángel near Plaça Catalunya and you can find another one on Plaça Sant Jaume, where you can also find the city's official nativity scene called a "pessebre."
Ice skating rink on Plaza Catalunya
Ice skating rink on Plaza Catalunya. For the second year Barcelona has a Christmas ice rink with a skating area of 1200m2 on Plaza Catalunya (40m by 30m) making it the biggest outdoor ice rink in Europe with room for 400 skaters. It is open from Friday 22nd November 2013 until 6th January 2014. The ticket price which includes skate rental is € 9 for 1 hour and € 7 for 30 minutes. There are changing areas and a cafeteria. Around 95,000 people put on their skates last year, so you won't be alone! Enjoy! > Read more
Christmas concerts and events
There are many classical, gospel and ballet Christmas concerts in Barcelona including a wonderful performance of Handel's Messiah at the Basílica de Santa María del Mar and two concerts at the Palau de la Musica Catalana. By the way you can attend midnight mass on Christmas eve at the Santa Maria del Mar church and just before midnight hear the 5 minute "El cant de la Sibil·la." Visit the Barcelona events calendar to find our concert picks for top Christmas concerts and events. There are many activities for children in the days between Christmas and New Year. Poble Espanyol, the Spanish village on Montjuic hill near Plaza Espanya, has a full programme of children's activities until 6th January including Caga Tió (see below) and carol singing. Children can enjoy the annual Festival de la Infància at the Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuïc exhibition area which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2013. This is an annual festival and exhibition for families and children during the Christmas season featuring games, sports, an ice rink, karaoke, workshops, concerts for children and families during the Christmas season. Over 100 companies and 200,000 visitors usually attend.
Christmas weather in Barcelona
What's the weather like at Christmas in Barcelona? What should you wear in Barcelona in December. It's chilly at night and can be warm during day. Bring a sweater, scarf and winter jacket for the evenings. Generally we would describe the Barcelona December weather at chilly, but crisp and clear. Perfect for Christmas and Xmas shopping. Barcelona can get a sprinkling of snow once or twice in the winter, as you can see on these photos of snow in Barcelona, but it does not happen very often and the chances of snow in the city of Barcelona at Christmas are very slim. For snow near Barcelona head to the ski resorts near Barcelona which all opened in late November. The weather in Barcelona at Christmas can be warm and pleasant during the day and then get chilly in the evening. Generally the mid-day temperatures in December are around 14 to 16 degrees celsius and drop to between 5 and 15 degrees celcius in the evening. > Weather forecast Barcelona
Christmas shopping Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the top European cities for Christmas shopping and to kick off the Christmas shopping one of Barcelona's most fashionable shopping street Passeig de Gracia organises the annual Barcelona Shopping Night with activities and opening times until midnight. In 2013 the Barcelona Shopping Night is on Thursday 28th November. Extra Christmas shopping days in December. Shops can choose to be open on Public holidays and Sundays in December. Most shops will be open on these extra shopping days in December:
Friday 6th December 2013 (public holiday)
Sunday 8th December 2013
Sunday 15th December 2013
Sunday 22nd December 2013
Barcelona Christmas markets
Barcelona's old city has many craft fairs during December and of course many Christmas markets. The oldest, biggest and most traditional of the Barcelona Christmas markets is “La Fira de Santa Llúcia,” - in Spanish “Feria de Santa Lucia." This wonderful Christmas market is on the Avenida de la Catedral in front of Barcelona’s Cathedral in the gothic area of Barcelona. The earliest recorded Christmas market in this location in Barcelona took place in 1786, so in 2013 it will be the 227th edition of Barcelona's favourite Christmas market. The Avenida de la Catedral and small streets by the cathedral have almost 300 stalls selling Christmas decorations and gifts. Around 100 of the stands sell the “figuritas de Belén,” which are the small figures that you can buy to make your own crib scenes called "Pessebres." The “figuritas de Belén” are not cheap and if you want the full set with shepherds hut and a stream, wooden bridges, palm trees, camels and more it will soon add up and you should probably buy a lottery ticket for the Spanish Christmas Lottery El Gordo. Or do what many do and buy a few figuritas each year and build up your collection.
Christmas markets and opening times
2013 Fira de Santa Llúcia Christmas market
Location: > Av. De la Cathedral in front of Catedral de Barcelona in Gothic area of old city.
Dates: Open from Saturday 30 November 2013 to Monday 23 December 2013 daily from 10.00 to 22.00.
Biggest Christmas market in Barcelona on "Avenida de la Catedral" in front of Barcelona's cathedral in the Gothic quarter. Special days on Friday 13/12 which is both "Dia de Santa Llúcia" and the 1 day festival "Diada de les tradicions nadalencs" which is a festival of Christmas activities for the kids featuring the "Face of Barcelona's Christmas" called "Carassa de Nadal de Barcelona" and a special Christmas concert. From 1/12 to 17/12 there are special "Tió gegant" activities for the children. Read more about Fira de Santa Llucia Christmas market
2013 Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Família - Sagrada Familia Christmas market
Location: Sagrada Familia church
Dates: Open from Friday 29th November 2013 to Monday 23rd December 2013 - daily from 10.00 to 22.00.
Fira de Nadal a la Sagrada Família. Christmas market at Sagrada Familia church. Traditional Christmas market with around 120 stalls at La Sagrada Familia church in Eixample area of Barcelona. On two Saturdays from 18 to 20.00 Santa Claus will collect letters from the children and hand out balloons and cookies. Organised by l'Associació d'Artesans i Firaires Nadalencs de la Sagrada Família
2013 Fira de Reis a la Gran Via - The Three Kings Fair >website
Location: On street of Gran Via between streets of Rocafort and Calàbria. Map link
Dates: Thursday 19th December 2013 to Monday 6th January 2014 - Daily from 11.00 to 14.00 and 17:00 to 19:00 and on 5th January 2013 until 03.00
"La feria de Reyes de la Gran Via" is also called "Sant Tomàs i Reis" fair (St Thomas and Kings) - and also sometimes called the Twelfth Night Fair: This is one of the biggest Christmas and New Year markets for gifts and toys in Barcelona and located on part of the Gran Via main road in Barcelona. It has around 300 markets stalls mostly with toys but also other traditional "Reyes" gifts like "carbon de azucar" (candy coal.)
2013 Fira de Nadal solidària
Location: Els Jardinets de Gràcia at the top of Passeig de Gracia. Map Link
Dates: Friday 13th December 2013 to Sunday 22nd December 2013 from 11:00 to 21:00
Fira de Nadal solidària is a charity Christmas market organized by the Barcelona city council with focus on selling artisan arts and crafts that benefit charites and promote awareness of social issues and civic responsibility.
2013 Fira de Nadal - Fira d'artesania a la plaça de Sants - Sants Christmas market
Location: Carrer Joan Güell - Plaça de Sants. > Map link
Dates: Saturday 30th November 2013 to Monday 23rd December 2013
2013 Festival de la Infància - Barcelona Children's Festival
Location: Fira Montjuic - Festival de la Infancia information
Dates: Friday 27th December 2013 to Sunday 4th January 2013
> Find Christmas markets outside Barcelona
2013 Mercat de Nadal de Pedralbes
Location: Plaça Monestir de Pedralbes, Pedralbes area of Barcelona
Dates: Sunday 1st December 2013 from 11:00 to 16:00
Lovely 1 day Christmas market at Pedralbes monastery, where you can also enjoy guided visits of the monastery and enjoy Christmas carol singing.
There are also lovely Christmas markets and fairs in towns and village near Barcelona. We can recommend the Fira de Nadal in Caldes de Montbui on Saturday 30th November 2013 & Sunday 1st December 2013
Christmas food traditions Barcelona
“Escudella i carn d'olla” is a typical Christmas dish in Catalunya. This is a tasty bowl (escudella means bowl) of pasta shells "galets" in a meat and vegetable stew, then followed by "carn d'olla" which is a meat dish of stuffed capon or turkey. Dessert could be traditional “torrons,” which is on sale at Christmas markets and supermarkets everywhere in Barcelona. This is nougat made with almonds, hazelnuts and honey. Christmas bread, “El Pa de Nadal” is sold at bakeries all over Barcelona. Not all restaurants are open in Barcelona at Christmas. Generally the bigger chain restaurants and the hotel restaurants are open during Christmas, but to avoid disapointment we recommend contacting restaurants to check their opening times and to make a reservation.
> About Escudella in Barcelona Metropolitan Magazine
> Recipe for escudella i carn d'olla by Clifford A. Wright
> Catalan restaurants in Barcelona
Most shops are closed both on both 25th and 26th December. For grocery shopping the "OpenCor" convenience stores are open on 26th December.
> OpenCor shops Barcelona
“La Misa Del Gallo” Midnight Mass - Christmas Eve
Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve in Barcelona. The chiming of church bells summons families to the mass which is called "La Misa Del Gallo" - The Mass of the Rooster. This names derives from the belief that only time that a rooster crowed at midnight was on Christmas Eve when Jesus was born. The Midnight Mass is a charming service. The most memorable Christmas mass can be found 40 km northwest of Barcelona in "la Basílica de Montserrat," the Benedictine monastery built on the steep cliffs of Montserrat mountain range. At this midnight mass you can hear the angelic voices of Europe's oldest boys' choir called L’Escolania de Montserrat.
Three Kings Parade Barcelona 5th January
In Spain the most important day of Christmas is the 6th January, when The Three Kings of the Orient - "Els Tres Reis Mags d'Orient" - Melchor, Gaspar y Baltasar ( In Spanish called “Los Reyes Magos” Balthasar, Caspar and Melchior) arrive at the crib of the infant Jesus bearing their gifts. So the 6th January is the day when children get their gifts in Spain. You can see Santa Claus in shopping malls in Barcelona and on Spanish TV stations, but the Three Kings of the Orient are the main characters in Spanish Christmas celebrations in Barcelona and Spain. Spanish and Catalan children send letters to the Three Kings not to Father Christmas or Santa Claus.
The 5th January is called the Night of the Three Kings, the "Cavalcada de Reis" in Catalan or “Cabalgata los Reyes Magos,” in Spanish. It`s also called The Three Kings’ Parade or the “Twelfth Night procession.” The Christmas tradition in Spain is that the Three Kings of the Orient bring presents for the children on 6th January, not Santa Claus on Christmas Day. So the Reyes Magos parade in Spain and Barcelona is on 5th January every year on the evening before Twelfth Night Epiphany on 6th January.
During the Kings parades children deliver their Christmas letters to the Three Kings of the Orient to the royal pages Estel and Gregori or to the postmen in the parade. In Barcelona children can also deliver their Christmas letter personally at the City Hall on Placa Jaume or at the Santa Eulàlia schooner moored at the Moll de la Fusta in Port Vell marina from 2nd to 4th January.
On the night of 5th January Spanish and Catalan children put out their shoes for the Three Kings to fil. For the camels they leave hay and water. On the morning of the 6th January the hay and water should be gone and the shoes should be full of presents!
The Three Kings parade on 5th January 2014 is a procession of impressively decorated “carrozas” ( parade floats.) The Barcelona Kings parade in 2014 starts at 16:30 which is earlier than previous years. The most important floats are the ones with the Three Kings. Each carroza is manned by costumed adults and chldren tossing 2.5 tons of candy to the jubilant throngs of families and children lining the parade route. Some neighbourhoods have their own parade. Barcelona city has a big central parade every year which starts from the Moll de la Fusta in the Port Vell Marina of Barcelona. Adults and children over eight are welcome to sign up (usually before December) to take part in the processions as carriage pages, criers, royal postmen and other helpers.
16:00 Sunday 5th January
Arrival Three Kings at port
Barcelona port - Moll de la Fusta ( > OPEN MAP)
Arrival Three Kings Barcelona. The Reyes arrive onboard the Barcelona maritime museum's schooner (pailebot) called "Santa Eulàlia." After the greeting festivities the Three Kings leave this location by car and go to the start of the parade "Cavalcada de Reis" which starts at the Parc de la Ciutatdella from the park entrance on the street "Av. Marques de l'Argentera."
18:00 Sunday 5th January
Start of Kings parade "Cavalcada de Reis"
Parc de la Ciutatdella (> OPEN MAP)
Cavalcada de Reis - Kings parade in Barcelona starts on the street "Av. Marques de l'Argentera" outside the side entrance of the park "Parc de la Ciutatdella."
20:45 to 21:30 Sunday 5th January
Avinguda de Rius i Taulat at Magic Fountain
Finish of Kings parade
The Kings procession finishes at Avinguda de Rius i Taulat at Magic Fountain where the Magic Fountain music and light dispaly is part of the parade ( MAP LINK )
> Route Map Barcelona Three Kings Parade 2014 - Mapa Barcelona "Cavalcada de Reis"
> Pictures Three Kings parade
“El Pessebre de Nadal” - Spanish nativity scenes
The pessebre is the Catalan name for the Christmas nativity scene. A Spanish and Catalan Christmas would not be complete without a nativity scene with palm trees, shepherds, three kings, Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus. And of course the cheeky Caganer figure. The nativity scene in Catalonia is called “El Pessebre de Nadal.” The word Pessebre means "stable" and El Pessebre de Nadal refers to the manger, or the crib, where Christ was born. It is called “El Belén de Navidad” in Spanish or “Belén de Judá” which means “stable of Judea.” The three most typical pessebre scenes are the birth of Christ in a manger, the Archangel Gabriel appearing to the shepherds or the star guiding the Three Kings to Bethlehem. Traditionally the pessebre is assembled on St Catherines day on 25th November and taken down on 2nd February which is the feast of Candlemas which marks the midpoint of winter, halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox.
Crib scene displays can be found many places in Barcelona on plazas, in churches and in most Catalan homes, both in miniature form and also living nativity plays called "pessebre vivents." The official 2013 Barcelona outdoor pessebre - Pessebre a la Plaça Sant Jaume - is on Plaça Sant Jaume in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona. This year the design is very modern with a focus on family life during Christmas. It is open from Friday 29th November 2013 to Monday 6th January 2014 from 10:00 to 22:00 daily.
You can see 4 different living nativity scenes at Poble Espanyol - the Spanish Village - this Christmas on 21st, 22nd, 28th of December and 4th January when Poble Espanyol has invited four Catalan villages to each stage their traditional theatre versions of living pessebres between 12:00 and 14:00, and again 16:00 and 18:00 hours. On these days the squares, streets and alleys of the Spanish Village really become a lovely a Christmas scene. Wonderful for the kids.
You can see the nativity scene all year on the Nativity facade of the famous unfinished Sagrada Familia church by Gaudi.
Where to see a Christmas Pessebre in Barcelona?
- Open-air pessebre in Plaça de Sant Jaume fromFriday 29th November 2013 to Monday 6th January 2014
- Living nativity scenes at Poble Espanyol on 21st, 22nd, 28th of December and 4th January
- Cloister of cathedral La Seu - entrance from Carrer del Bisbe
- Mid-December to 12/1 Pessebre at church Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar
- Pessebre diorama in Iglesia de Belén on Las Ramblas 107
- 1/12 to 13/1 usually exhibition Casa de la Pia Almoina, Av. Catedral 4
- Sagrat Cor de Jesús del Tibidabo - church on Tibidabo hill in December
- Museu Monestir de Pedralbes - Monastery of Pedralbes in December
“El Caganer” - The Christmas crapper
Among the figures in a good “Pessebre” you will find a funny little fellow, called "El Caganer," which is a unique and strange Catalan Christmas tradition that is supposed to bring good luck.
"El Caganer" is the cheeky figure of Catalan navitivy scenes as “El Caganer” literally means “The crapper” or "the shitter." It is a an elf or gnome-like figure wearing the traditional Catalan "barretina" red beret and with his trousers down, his backside bare, defecating! Very naughty guy! He or she can usually be found somewhere in the nativity scene if you look closely. The origins of el crapper are a bit murky, but apparently "El Caganer" has been dropping his britches to "fertilize the earth" since the middle of the 19th century at least. He is a very popular fellow in Catalunya and thought to bring good luck. "El Caganer" can be seen in in many forms and public figures have the honour of being portrayed with their pants down at Christmas. The caganer is a very popular fellow in Catalunya and thought to bring good luck. Among the new caganer figures in 2013 are Pope Francis and for the first time ever thee Virgin of Montserrat which is causing much controversy with Barcelona's bishops considering legal action. More popular than ever is the "independentista" separatist caganer holding the independence flag. The caganer figurines are all handmade and cost from € 5-20 per figurine depending on size.Visit Caganer.com to see the new 2013 Caganer figures or visit their stand at the Santa Lucia Christmas market at Barcelona Cathedral. > read more about the Caganer Christmas figure.
There was a suggestion by the city council back in 2005 to leave the caganer out of the Plaça Sant Jaume official pessebre nativity scene. It was felt that the caganer was politically incorrect, especially when Barcelona is trying to encourage nightlife revellers not to use the streets as public toilets. But there were many protests against a proposed caganer ban and the idea was dropped. So the caganer can still be seen in the pessebre on Sant Jaume. See if you can spot him.
“Tió de Nadal” - "Caga Tió" - The Christmas log
Another Christmas tradition in Catalonia is the “Tió de Nadal” also called the "Caga Tió" In this context the word "Tió" is a Catalan word. The word "tió" in Catalan means “log.“ In Spanish "Tio" means "uncle” or “guy." So "Tió de Nadal" is "Christmas log" not "Christmas uncle" or "Christmas guy." And Caga Tió means "shit log!" ha ha ha!
Another Christmas tradition in Catalonia is the “Tió de Nadal” also called the "Caga tió" In this context the word "Tió" is a Catalan word. The word "tió" in Catalan means “log." In Spanish "Tio" means "uncle” or “guy." So "Tió de Nadal" means "Christmas log or trunk" not "Christmas uncle" or "Christmas guy." And Caga Tió means "shit log!" :-) The “Tió de Nadal” Christmas log is a hollow log or tree stump standing on stick legs with a very happy face painted on one end. It wears the typical Catalan barretina red hat. You can buy them in all sizes at Catalan Christmas markets and you can often a giant Tió de Nadal at children's Christmas events. The Christmas log is also called “Caga tió.” which means "Poo log!" What is the Cata Tio tradition and why is it called Poo log? It works like this. The Christmas log is "fed," pampered and looked after by children from the 8th December ( the day of Immaculate Conception called “Dia de la Immaculada Concepció,”) and until Christmas Eve 24th December. The Caga Tió even gets a blanket to keep it warm at night.
Then on Christmas Eve you put the Caga Tio almost in the fireplace. The children then sing the “Caga Tió” song to get the log to “poo” some presents. While they are singing they hit the log with a stick. When the song is finished with a final load cry of “Caga Tió!” ( = the imperative tense of the the verb "to defacate," so it means "Shit log!") The children then leave the room to pray for presents giving the parents the opportunity to put some presents in the hollow log or under the blanket. Then when the children come back they can get a present, which the log has pooed! Generally the present is candy and turron nougat and maybe one gift, as the main bulk of Christmas gifts for children in Spain are delivered on 6th January by the Three Kings. When the log has nothing left to "shit", it finishes the deed with a salt herring, a head of garlic, an onion, or it "urinates" by leaving a bowl of water. The Caga tió are generally regarding as communal gifts to be shared by everyone. After the log has finished crapping presents, if you have a fireplace, you can burn the “Tió" log after or just keep it for next year..
The Caga Tió traditions is a tradition with origins that go back centures to times when the fire was a central and important part of family life. The ashes of the burnt log were kept and spread by crops and near the stable and even on the beds as a rite to promote fertility.
“L’Home dels Nassos” – Noses Man
New Year's traditions in Barcelona. “L’Home dels Nassos” is a fun Catalan tradition. On New Year’s Eve 31st December, also called the day of San Silvestre or Saint Sylvester, the "L’Home dels Nassos" roams the streets handing out candy to the children. The Nose man has as many noses on his face as there are days left in the year. Many children mistakenly expect to see a man with 365 many noses on his face – one for each day of the year. But of course on the last day of the year, he only has one. San Silvestre is also the name of a popular 10 km San Silvestre run in Barcelona which is on the last day of the year in Barcelona and also on 31/12 at noon there is a children's party on Passeig de Gracia called Festa infantil de l'home dels nassos.
> Read about Nassos - Noses man (in Catalan)
Ice skating rinks Christmas
Barcelona has three Christmas Ice Skating rinks in 2013 adding to the two permanent ice rinks in Barcelona. Plaza Catalunya has a 1200 m2 ice skating rink for Christmas for the third year. It is a covered ice rink that is open from 22nd November 2013 until the beginning of January and with room for 400 skaters. The idea is both to enhance the Christmas spirit of Barcelona and also to promote awareness of the Barcelona Winter Olympics bid 2026. Ticket price for skating on Plaza Catalunya is 9 euros per hour and opening times are from 10:00 to 21:00. There are also Christmas ice skating rinks in the Gracia area of the city on Passeig de Sant Joan and an ice rink in the shopping mall Pedralbes Centre in the upper area of Barcelona.
El Gordo Christmas lottery
The Spanish Christmas lottery El Gordo is the biggest lottery in the world and is drawn on 22nd December every Christmas. Read about El Gordo 2013
New Years' Eve in Barcelona
New Years Eve Parties and traditions
New Years Eve is celebrated in Spain with food and parties. New Years Eve is often celebrated by people gathering on Plaza Catalunya in the centre of town at midnight, but not as an official ceremony. Barcelona is organising its first ever official New Years Eve event this year at 11.30pm near the Magic Fountain. It is called the Barcelona New Year Chimes celebration. This New Years display will be at the Magic Fountain near Plaza Espanya and will last 45 minutes from 11:30 until 0:15. The celebration will consist of a main stage with two big screens for the countdown and then a firework display at midnight. The event will feature human tower building by the Castellers de Sants human towers group as well as concerts, music, fireworks and the Magic fountain light and water display. The Barcelona New Year celebrations at the Magic Fountain will be a public family event and free and open to everyone. As this is the first time Barcelona city is organising a big New Years event like this it is difficult to say what time it is best to get there for a place close to the fountain, but 30 minutes or 60 minutes before should be fine, as it will be cold for people to wait. That said, you can see the fireworks from the whole avenue for sure, so I would not worry too much about where to stand. Regarding our party list. Please note that we have only listed a few top clubs and hotels. There are of course parties all over Barcelona.
There are many New Year Parties in Barcelona and we will update our events page about Barcelona New Years Eve parties with some of the best parties at top clubs as we get closer to the 31st December Most people choose to celebrate at bars, clubs and restaurants in Barcelona. All the top clubs and many hotels have New Year Parties. Visit our Barcelona nightlife page to find parties. and many people at parties or at home turn on the live transmission from Madrid's central square, Puerta del Sol, at midnight to see the 12 chimes that take us into a New Year. Fireworks generally do not play a major part in private New Year celebrations in Barcelona but as mentioned in 2013 there will be a big fireworks display as part of the new Barcelona New Year celebration by the Magic Fountain on 31st December.
What happens when the bell chimes for New Year in Barcelona. In Spain and Catalunya at midnight everyone eats twelve lucky grapes, one grape at each strike of the bell counting down to the new year. Then you toast the new year with Cava. According to an excellent book about oddities in Spain by Valerie Collins and Theresa O’Shea called “In the Garlic” this tradition is explained as follows:
“As for the grapes, you might imagine that the custom of eating twelve lucky uvas at midnight on December 31 dates back to ancient times. In fact, it was dreamed up by Valencian grape-growers in 1909 as a way of getting rid of an extra-bumper crop. One grape after each chime of the clock to give thanks for the past year's good luck and in anticipation of the lucky year to come. A hundred years is a short time when it comes to gene development, but it seems the Spanish have already honed the how-to-eat-12-grapes-in-12-seconds-without-choking gene. Actually, they cheat. The Puerta del Sol clock in Madrid , which everybody watches on TV, is slowed down to a more digestible one strike every three seconds.”
Sports events at Christmas Barcelona
There are four sports events during the Christmas season in Barcelona
> Buff Epic 10k Obstacle Race - December 2013
> Christmas walk - Sunday in December 2013
> Christmas day harbour swim - 25th December 2013
> New Years Day swim 1st January 2014
Restaurants in Barcelona open
during Christmas and New Year
We have listed some NY events on our New Years Barcelona event page, but please note that many restaurants in Barcelona are opening during the Christmas holidays especially in hotels and in the centre of town, but we advise you to check the daily papers and contact the estaurants directly for reservations.
Public Transport Christmas Barcelona
Metro in Barcelona at Christmas.
24/12 Metro on Christmas Eve closes at 23:00.
25/12 Metro opens at 05:00 and closes at 02:00 on Sunday morning.
26/12 Boxing Day Sant Esteve. Metro open from 05:00 to midnight
31/12 New Year's Eve. Metro open all night on New Years Eve.
> Christmas timetables Barcelona public transport
> Night buses Barcelona
That's all we have for you about Christmas in Barcelona - except to wish you all a Bon Nadal i Feliç any Nou!
> Pictures Barcelona Christmas
> Catalan and Spanish Christmas names
> Barcelona City website about Christmas in Barcelona
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