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A traditional Christmas in Barcelona

A traditional Christmas in Barcelona

A traditional Christmas in Barcelona with helpBarcelona! What a perfect combination, right? The blog posts of December are quite unusual, but we need to get into Christmas spirit and some Christmassy posts are what we need. For all our affectionate readers, in January we will be back with our columns! But for now, Santa Claus is coming to town!

Let’s talk about today’s topic. We will discover… sound of bells… Christmas traditions in Barcelona and Catalonia region. We have already talked about all the sweet treats that you can taste after the Christmas dinner. Now, it is time to discover some Christmas traditions to spend a fully-fledged Catalan Christmas.

Are you staying in Barcelona during Christmas holidays? Well, it is a good reason to decorate your shared flat and organize a Christmas dinner with your flatmates. Actually, this is why we always suggest living in shared flat: you will never be alone! Even a Christmas without your family turns into an unforgettable experience. The proof is in the pudding!

Back to our Christmas traditions… Are you ready to discover them?

Nativity Scenes

They are called Beléns and they are elaborate nativity scenes. Some of them are real masterpieces, plenty of details such as rivers, marketplaces and decorated buildings. Actually, they are not traditional just in Catalonia; you can find them all over Spain and Italy has a great tradition, too. What can you do for Christmas? Well, you can have a look at some of the prettiest nativity scenes in the city centre! If you discover some remarkable scenes, let us know.

Caga Tio

You will never find this tradition in any other country. We have collected information and, after some research, we are ready to tell you more about it.

It is a piece of log dressed up with a small blanket (to keep it warm) and a barretina (the traditional Catalan hat). Children feed it every evening with bread and small pieces of orange peel. Sweet, right? Now, it gets the good! On Christmas day, they hit it singing a song: it is a way to ask it to poo out nougat or sweets. What do you think about this tradition? Have you ever heard about it?


This is something very Christmassy. They begin to sell the tickets very early, we would hazard that we have seen it already on October. The Spanish National Lottery is actually a big deal

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner is international, what changes are the delicious dishes that you can taste. The traditional starter is a soup (Carn D’Olla), a meat broth with snail shaped noodles. As main courses, there are many tapas, such as the meat used for the broth, prawns, ham and eel. Finally, the desserts: nougat and polvorones (cookies) are the kings of the table. It sounds downright mouth-watering, right?

Festa de San Esteban

The Catalonia region is the only one that celebrates this day. It is the 26th of December and it can be considered the third day of feast. The main course of this dinner are Cannelloni, pasta stuffed with meat. They are delicious and, needless to say, you have to taste them!

Dia de los Santos Inocentes

Christmas does not end with the “Festa de San Esteban”. The 28th December is a great holiday, too. What should you do? Dress up and enjoy the atmosphere… Furthermore, 2019 is coming; all the more reason to have fun.


To sum up, the very first step is decorating your shared flat. The second one is a nativity scenes tour and the Christmas lottery ticket. Then you need a menu for your Christmas dinner and a piece of log… We are nearly ready for Christmas, isn’t it? 

Actually, we are ready to embrace these funny and interesting Catalan traditions. Polvorenes, Nougat, Neules and cava… Our Christmas will be great! The most important ingredient are the people who will spend this holiday with you. By living in a shared flat, you will have the chance to meet people from all over the world who will probably spend important moments with you, such as Christmas holidays. Therefore, choose carefully your accommodation: as helpBarcelona always suggests, a shared flat may be the perfect solution for you.

How are the preparations going? We turned into Christmas elves and we got into Christmas spirit, so, expect another Christmassy blog post! That’s it for today, see you next week with another post about… Stay tuned and do not miss our next post!


helpBarcelona team