I have been in Barcelona for many years now and experienced lots of Christmas times here. I have to say that I kind of prefer Christmas in Barcelona.
It seems to be a bit more relaxed and you‘re not inundated with Christmas decorations and Christmas music months in advance like you do are back home in the UK.
But Barcelona has some very interesting ‘traditions’ at Christmas which can be a little shocking to the unknowing passer-by!
Well there’s the Caganer – This little man, is bought to place in the nativity scene, and is depicted ‘defecating’ on the ground with his/her trousers round his ankles!!
The original symbol is of giving back to mother nature but it seems to be more of a fun gimmick nowadays and you can see Caganers from Zapatero and Obama to Messi and Ronaldinho. It’s definitely a great little souvenir to take back home and show your bemused friends and family! Then there’s the log that poos presents, but I will go in to that another time…..
Barcelona is great at Christmas, there are traditional markets outside the cathedral with every kind of decoration you can imagine, people selling mulled wine and roasted chestnuts and although it’s winter it’s still a bit milder than many places, so you can wander around in the evenings without freezing!!
I think it’s a great time to come and study here, just to see a very different side to the city. The school stays open throughout Christmas and the organised activities follow the festive theme. And of course if you have more time spare then you can carry on through to New Year and celebrate with the locals. I’ll share the story of the 12 grapes on another occasion!!