Barcelona smells of cork and moss: the Santa Llúcia Fair is opening

There’s an unmistakeable sign in Barcelona that Christmas is around the corner: the Santa Llúcia Fair is opening. This traditional Christmas market, which has been held around the Cathedral since the 18th century, opens on Friday 30 November. And its little sister, The Sagrada Família Christmas Fair, has been open since November 24. Although one fair is older than the other –the Sagrada Família fair began in the 1960s, when Santa Llúcia could no longer cope on its own–, the products they sell are very similar.

Both offer every kind of product typical of Christmas: items for making Nativity Scenes, Christmas trees, decorations etc. The Santa Llúcia Fair brings together over two hundred stalls from end to end of Avinguda de la Catedral in four main sectors: nativity scenes and figures, green and vegetation section, craftworks and a music section with several Christmas-traditional instruments.

While the Santa Llúcia is on, you can enjoy shows and activities related to Christmas traditions. One of the most traditional activities are the appearances made by the Carassa, a masked figure that walks between the stalls, spitting out sweets for the children. This year it will be making six appearances, invariably at noon: on 30 November and 1, 14, 15, 21 and 22 December. A tió gegant, a typical Christmas log that “poos out” presents, will be going up at one side of the fair, from 30 November to 18 December and a Catalan Christmas Traditions and Customs Day held Saturday 14 December.