Christmas verse

Imatge destacada

One of the many Christmas traditions in Catalonia involves the youngest members of the family reciting a Christmas verse. Normally this takes place after the big meal, whether it is a lunch or a supper, with all the family together around the table. The children climb onto a chair to get the adults' attention, and begin to say their few lines, a couple of verses, or an entire poem. The length and subject matter of the verse depends on the age of the speaker, but it almost always refers to winter, Christmas or the values of the season.

Throughout history, notable Catalan poets have dedicated works to this sub-genre, particularly from the 19th century onwards. For example, the verses of Jacint Verdaguer are very popular, as are those of Josep Maria de Sagarra, Joan Salvat-Papasseit, and Guerau de Liost. Even so, some of the most classical Christmas poems, which are recited by generation after generation, are by unknown authors. Additionally, they make up a category which is alive and kicking and constantly evolving: as happens with Christmas carols, every year new ones are composed.