Lighting up city commerceA show by the Sol Picó company started the ceremony to switch on the Christmas lights, in Plaça Comercial, El Born, on 26 November. This year, with the social and economic crisis hitting city centre commerce particularly hard, the Christmas lights cover more streets and feature better quality lighting. The City Council has increased its lighting budget by 65% and there are subsidies available of up to 75%, in response to demands from local shops and businesses.
Barcelona’s Christmas lights are on from 26 November to 7 January, with over 100 kilometres of seasonal illuminations and the 39 municipal markets also getting special decorations.
Some streets and squares, such as Plaça de Catalunya and Carrer de Balmes have got Christmas lights for the first time. Others, such as Carrer de la Creu Coberta and Carrer de Pelai once again have arches of lights from one side of the street to the other. Major streets such as Av. Diagonal, C/ Aragó, Gran Via, Av. Paral·lel, Pg. Verneda, C/ Binèfar and Via Trajana have all got festive lights. Switching off times will be regulated according to possible restrictions because of the current pandemic.
This year, to facilitate the management of lighting for retailers’ associations who usually take responsibility, Barcelona City Council has assumed the task of procuring the design and the installation of the lights, consolidating a lighting arrangement for the years to come which is visually consistent with the city’s identity.
Switching on ceremony with Sol Picó’s company
The company headed by dancer and choreographer Sol Picó came up with a show centring on family gatherings over the Christmas period, which preceded the ceremony to switch the lights on in Plaça Comercial, in the neighbourhood of El Born, on 26 November.
The set was based around light, with live electronic music in sync with the dancers and the performers to offer a cry of hope and for family get-togethers to enjoy, even if it is in an intimate and contained way.