There are some events never missed by the barcelonians, no matter how low the temperature is or how big the recessions pointed by the economists is. When Christmas day is approaching and the decoration lights are on, is the moment when everything start: the Santa Llucia Fair opens its doors. Over there you can find Christmas trees, flowers, nativity figures, craftsmanship and ornaments. From the 13th to the 22nd of December, a wood of trees and eucalyptus perfume the city center.
A lot of people use to go to the Gran via, to the Three Wise men Fair. It started in 1877 with 20 stalls and today there are more than 200. The most interesting thing is that is opened until the 5th of January (the Wise men Eve) in order to allow to the majesties or some parent make their last purchases. This is the last minute of the gifts.
During this days, a lot of barcelonians go to the Saint James Square to admire the Nativity, with an original interpretation of this classical and biblical scene. The ones who love the Nativities have an appointment in the Exhibition in the Bethleem church, located in la Rambla, on the corner of Carmen Street.
The three Wise men Parade is still one of the biggest events of the year, mostly for the younger ones. Every year, the 5th of January around 6 pm they by boat to the marina to distribute the gifts among the children.
New ornaments have arrived as well as new events and traditions, like the Galets in Rambla Catalunya, as a tribute to the pasta we eat in the soup for Christmas, with the “Carn d’Olla” (the meat of the soup) and the “pilota” (a big meatball).
A few years ago, the Association of the city center shops started a new event: a big skating area, like the one in the Rockefeller Center in New York, in Catalonia Square, the heart of the city.
Every year, new traditions from other cultures share our traditions, like Santa Claus, but in most of our homes there are two local ones which survive: the Caga-Tió and the Caganer.
At the beginning of December, every house has a log (A Tió). The children will “feed” it until Christmas Eve. The 24th they’ll poke it singing a popular song. This way, the log will give them some gifts, under the shape of candies and chocolates.
The figure of the “Caganer” is a young shepherd dressed the catalan way and he is located behind a bush or a tree just shitting. This tradition started during the XVII century but became popular during the XIX. Nowadays, in order to joke about the everyday events, you can find “caganers” with the face of politicians, football players or famous people on TV. Do you know that you can have one of them with the face you wish?