Christmas in Catalonia

Have you ever thought about how Christmas is around the world?

Get to know the most important events going on in Christmas if you are in Barcelona!

Catalan Traditions

EL CAGA TIÓ” – 24th december

One of the weirdest traditions we have in Catalonia is our beloved “Caga tió” which actually means. “Uncle Shit”.

It is not a joke, it’s a real tradition! So, “Caga Tió” is a tree log with a Catalan Christmas hat “barretina” on it and a painted face. “Caga Tió” is a substitution to Santa Claus. During the month of December, he is placed in the living room; covered partly with a blanket so he doesn’t get cold and the family put food for him every night. On the 24thevening, we are used to have a familiar dinner and when we finish; kids are used to go to a separated room to sing songs for “Caga tió” to give him time before “hitting him” to throw out   the gifts. While kids are singing, parents place the presents under the blanket. Then kids come to sing a song with a stick while hitting the wood… it’s time to get “Caga Tió” eject presents out!

Valerle Hinojosa

“EL NADAL” -25th december

Celebrated with family, it’s the best time to enjoy of a great table full of traditional dishes as “Escudella” (soup with pasta, chickpea and a huge meatball) and “Carn d’Olla” … delicious!

“SANT ESTEVE” -26TH december

Celebration after Christmas, with a very popular dish: “Els Canelons” (similar as the Italian cannelloni). Before the cannelloni, this day had its typical dish: rice with the rest of the meal of the vigil, on Christmas day. With the arrival of cannelloni, however, the bourgeoisie began to incorporate them and finally ended up replacing rice.  As well as that initial rice, the cannelloni are also made with the remains of meat from the roast or “The Escudella” of Christmas lunch.

..Other Curiosities…

“SANTA LLÚCIA” The Oldest Christmas Market in town

Mercat de Santa Llúcia is a must place to go if you are in Barcelona during Christmas! You can find the Famous “Caga tió” even in a small version if you want to bring one home as a souvenir, typical red flowers of Christmas called “Poncella”, the nativity figures… even some handmade and nice decoration balls for a wonderful Christmas tree. In Catalonia, we are not used to buy natural trees; however, you can find them easily.

Another product that you can find in Christmas markets are “Turrons”, the traditional desserts after all the eaten food! The most typical and known is from chocolate and inflated rice… but nowadays you can find plenty of flavours… some of them are: coconut, fruits, cream, Oreo, cheese, custard, rum with raisins…an endless list of flavours!  Something more light are “Neulas”.

Ajuntament de Barcelona


Have you ever seen a “CAGANER”? This figure is also common in nativity scenes, is believed that the “caganer “with his faeces fertilizes the earth, for what is considered a symbol of prosperity and good luck for the following year.

The “caganer” is fully accepted by the Church. Placing this figure in the nativity scene brought luck and joy; not to do it entailed misfortune.

Els tres reis

“Els tres reis” – The Three Kings!  Instead of one “Santa Claus” we have 3 kings that we keep waiting all year long so they bring us toys, sweets and a lot of happiness!

After reading this small resume of what do we do in Catalonia during Christmas, we hope that you come to visit us during this date!

If you want to learn more about Catalan Christmas,

Do not hesitate and come! We will have fun 😊

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