Catalonia’s holiday lights switch on amidst music, food, and shopping

The yearly event also coincides with Barcelona’s shopping night, and includes a musical tour through the ages and several-day long gastronomy offerings

Christmas lights in Barcelona are turned on, on November 22 2018 (photo courtesy of the Barcelona City Council)
Christmas lights in Barcelona are turned on, on November 22 2018 (photo courtesy of the Barcelona City Council) / Rachel Bathgate

Rachel Bathgate | Barcelona

November 22, 2018 09:23 PM

It might not be December yet, but in Catalonia, it sure is beginning to look a lot like Christmas…because tonight, holiday lights were officially switched on.

This coincided with Barcelona’s shopping night, which this year falls the night before Black Friday, a day when most businesses put their wares on sale. Here, many stores will stay open until midnight, to give shoppers their best chance at finding that perfect Christmas gift at a steal.

Music, food, and more

This edition of Barcelona’s shopping night also saw a variety of cultural offerings. Along with workshops and stands, seven stages played music of all kinds throughout downtown. More than that, those interested will be able to see a veritable chronological journey through the history of modern music, including jazz, Latin music, pop, rock and roll, and much more.

And to keep your spirits up, there’s not only music, but food, too. As well as food trucks, Christmas-themed food can be found for under 10 euros, some even made by Catalonia’s female chef with most Michelin stars in the world, Carme Ruscalleda. A total of 12 establishments including restaurants and hotels will participate with their own dishes in an event which runs until Sunday November 25.

And lastly, it wouldn’t be downtown Barcelona without a touch of modernism, the whimsical architectural style Catalonia is so known for. Later in the night, the gala event El Desig took place, embodying the Catalan version of Art Nouveau, with guests from the world of fashion, decorating, illustrating, journalism, acting, art, and more.

A somber event

The official event to switch on the city’s holiday lights also saw acts by Barcelona mayor Ada Colau and more city officials. Last year, Colau also kicked off the event, but with a much more somber tone: with a moment to pay homage to the victims of the Barcelona terror attacks, carried out in the center of the Catalan capital.