Where to stock up for Christmas in Catalonia
It's time to prepare for the holidays, and fairs and markets all over the country offer everything needed for the festive season
A Christmas tree, a Tió de Nadal log, a poinsettia plant, Nativity Scene figures, turrons, fairy lights, a caganer "crapper"... the list of things you need for Christmas in Catalonia is long.
Fortunately, there are plenty of fairs and markets all over the country in the run-up to the festive season where you can find everything you need, while having a great day out.
Santa Llúcia fair
Take Barcelona, which apart from a new festive market by the Port Vell marina, has the Santa Llúcia fair, with over 200 stalls set up around the city's cathedral selling Christmas items.
The fair goes back to 1786, and until December 23 shoppers can find a variety of festive products, from decorations and candles, to trees and handmade craft gifts.
Christmas tree fair
Every Christmas needs a decent tree, and some of the best are to be found in the northern town of Espinelves, which is famous for its Christmas tree fair known as the Fira de l'Avet.
Until December 8, Espinelves offers the best trees, such as the highly-prized Masjoanis and Picea Excelsa varieties, along with plenty of stalls selling a range of Christmas products.
Catalonia's best poultry
Eating rich food is also a major part of the festive season, and the finest poultry around is to be found in Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona, and Vilafranca del Penedès.
From December 13 to 15, El Prat's highly-prized Pota Blava chickens are on show, while Vilafranca's Fira del Gall (December 21 & 22) showcases its own prestigious poultry.
Sugar-coated festive season
Christmas is the time of year when Catalans tuck into the traditional nougat known as torró, and a range of the festive treats is to be found in the Vallès Oriental of Cardedeu.
Between December 13 and 15, the town's Torró Artesà fair features over 160 stalls offering craft torró, along with other traditional Christmas sweets, and activities for all.
All about the Bible story
You don't have to be religious to set up a Nativity Scene at home, and while the materials you need are widely available, Olot has an entire fair devoted to the tradition.
The Fira del Pessebre in the northern town dedicates the long weekend of December 6 to 8 to the miniature representation of Christ's birth, with activities for all the family.
Christmas fairs all around
Yet, not all the fairs are focused on just one aspect of Christmas, as there are winter markets just about everywhere, offering a wide variety of festive products and activities.
Over the long weekend from December 6 to 8, for example, there are Christmas fairs being held in Castellterçol, Martorell, and Santa Margarida i els Monjos.
Later in the month, it is the turn of other places around Catalonia to hold their fairs and markets, such as Valls, on December 14 and 15, or Montgat, on December 15.
There are only a few weeks until the holiday period gets underway, but given the number of events taking place, everyone should find everything they need for a perfect Christmas.