Barcelona Christmas Fair Part 2: Nativity Scenes

The Fira de Santa Llúcia is not only a place for buying Christmas decorations but it is also a one-stop-shop for those seeking Nativity figures and accessories made with skill and a lot of heart. 

Fira de Santa Llúcia photo by

The tradition of depicting the birth of Jesus is ingrained in the Catalan culture. Although the first Catalan Nativity was made as early as the 14th century, the crèche with Joseph, Mary and Jesus became popular in Catalonia only two centuries later.

The opening of Barcelona’s Fira de Santa Llúcia in 1786 strengthened the tradition even more. 

The pessebre (Nativity crib) in Catalonia and other parts of Spain is a reproduction of Bethlehem. In Spanish, it is called belén, which is also the Spanish name for Bethlehem.

Fira de Santa Llúcia photo by

The crib has a pastoral setting: a farmhouse with the manger scene and, around it, different scenes like a woman washing clothes by the river and shepherds herding their sheep.

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Barcelona Christmas Fair Part 1: Catalan Traditions and Symbols

What a busy weekend it was for me!

We went to Barcelona for the Christmas market, the Fira de Santa Llúcia. It was named after Saint Lucy who is the patron saint of eyesight.

Fira de Santa Llúcia photo by

The fair dates back to the 18th century. According to historical accounts, on 13 December 1786, feast day of St. Lucy, there were people praying and celebrating Mass in the Cathedral in honor of the saint and of the Blessed Virgin. Meanwhile, several stands outside were selling Nativity cribs as well as clay and cardboard figurines and images of saints, shepherds, animals and so on.

Sta. Lucia photo by

It has been organized annually without interruption since then.

Fira de Santa Llúcia photo by

Now on its 227th year, it is the oldest fair dedicated to Nativity scenes and Christmas traditions. The Nativity scene is called pessebre in Catalan.

Nativity shop photo by

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Handmade Delights at the Castelldefels Medieval Fair

Exciting times for the city of Castelldefels this weekend, with the annual Medieval Fair (Castrum Fidelis or Feria Medieval) in full swing! The fair opened last Thursday and will run until tomorrow.


The whole ambiance takes you back to the Middle Ages: the flags bearing medieval icons; the booths clothed in dark fabrics; the vendors dressed up in tunics and robes.


The Medieval Fair wouldn’t be complete without the Birds of Prey exposition. In the afternoon, kids and adults alike gather in the plaza to see crows, owls and falcons up close.


Here’s a closer look at one of the falcons. The hood looks creepy :)


We like looking at the owls, but we like it better when they look at us. This owl is different from the one I saw last year.


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