If you are coming to Barcelona this holiday season, then the biggest Christmas market in the city is one piece of Catalan culture you cannot miss. Beginning on Saturday November 26th and ending on Thursday December 22nd, this fantastic fair is filled with exciting handmade gifts, nativity scenes and much, much more!
La Fira de Santa Llúcia is an important part of Christmas in Barcelona, especially as this year the prominent market will celebrate its 225th anniversary. Located in front of the Barcelona Cathedral in the Gothic Quarter of the city, the fair will be open daily from 10.30am until 8.30-9.30pm and will run a variety of festive activities alongside its 275 stalls.
One of the best days to experience these activities will be on the 13th of December, the day of Santa Llúcia, when the market will dedicate a full day to Catalan Christmas traditions. In the morning you can see the Tió de Nadal: a giant version of the wooden log which the children usually hit with a stick on Christmas day until they find presents underneath his red blanket. In the afternoon you can discover the Carassa de Nadal parade, where sweets are thrown to the children as the festive figures pass by.
There are many more activities in which to take part on December 13th and throughout the duration of the fair itself. Walking around the market you might sing along to the Christmas carols being performed or join in one of the crib scene making courses led by the Association of Crib Scene Makers of Barcelona (APB).
Gifts for Everyone
If you don´t feel like participating this year, there is still plenty to see (and purchase) at the market throughout its four sections. The Nativity and Figurine sector includes various decorations such as Christmas lights, baubles, candles and handmade models for nativity scenes. The Greenery and Plants area is where you can find both natural and artificial trees, moss, Tió figures in many sizes, and lucky branches. The Crafts section of the market is a great place to find gifts for all of your family and friends as its stalls consist of thousands of handmade items such as jewellery, clothes and accessories. Finally, the Simbombes part of the market offers musical instruments and gives your Christmas holiday that final touch!
Dating back to 1786, the market has great historical significance in Barcelona. It is said that every year on December 13th, people would gather outside the Barcelona Cathedral to celebrate and honour the life of Saint Lucy, virgin and martyr. Inside the Cathedral, people would worship the Saint, praying for their eyesight and clarity, as she was known to be the patroness of seamstresses, tailors, needleworkers and the blind. However, right outside the Cathedral there was a different scene. A fair was set up with many stalls, clay and cardboard figurines, nativity displays and images of saints, shepherds and animals. It is also said that it was known as the “girls’ fair,” as many people thought that unmarried young ladies would go there to find a husband.
Nowadays, the Fira de Santa Llúcia is a magical place where locals and tourists alike can gather to purchase gifts, join in activities and generally get into the Christmas spirit. If you would like to attend the fair this year, you can find many Barcelona apartment special offers and last minute deals on Barcelona apartments located in the Gothic quarter and other areas surrounding the market.
How to get there:
By metro: (L4) Jaume I
By bus: Lines 17, 19, 45, N8