Fireworks, music, and drones: Barcelona's New Year's Eve 2023 party
City's nativity scene to be projected onto city hall's façade allowing citizens to interact using phones
Barcelona will ring in 2023 with a huge public party in the city center featuring fireworks, music, a display of 200 drones, and Montjuïc's Magic Fountain. The new year celebrations return after the last two years were restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The New Year's Eve party will include technology, drones, fire, and water," Jordi Martí, Barcelona's councilor for culture, said during a press conference on Tuesday morning.
"The show to ring in the new year will last less than 30 minutes," he added, but thousands of people are expected to gather at Maria Cristina avenue, just beside Plaça Espanya square.
The street party is just one aspect of the city's festive celebrations falling together under the slogan: 'Barcelona, the Stage for Christmas.'
Divided into two parts, the first one, lasting 12 minutes, will relate stories from different cultures through art. Each minute will be focused on a different culture that will be represented through masks drawn in the sky with 200 drones. The spectacle will have a soundtrack made especially for the occasion.
In the second half of the display, also lasting 12 minutes, fireworks will take the lead. This part will start straight after the stroke of midnight.
One of the most important traditions in Barcelona when Christmas arrives is the nativity scene in Plaça Sant Jaume. After all the secrecy related to this year's scene, on Tuesday the city council announced that it would be an interactive and innovative attraction.
From December 16 until January 5, visitors will find an interactive video mapping projected onto the city hall's façade that will represent several Catalan Christmas traditions, such as the nativity scene, the 'Tió,' the 'Reis Mags' or Three Kings, and the festive food.
"It is an interactive scene, digital, modern, and made for all publics," Neith Sentis, from the Onionlab studio, the company responsible for the design, said during the press conference on Tuesday.
"People will not need to download any app, as it uses the web app technology, so to play and send elements to the mapping, people will need to open a web page," she added.
Another concept part of the scene is the 'Christmas in town' idea, where people will be able to "select pictures of previous festive seasons" and share them with everyone at the Plaça Sant Jaume square.
The nativity scene will be on from 5:30 pm until 10 pm or 11 pm, depending on the day. Each scene will be displayed for around 10 minutes, and despite being an afternoon schedule, organizers expect visits from "all residents in the city center."
Three Kings parade
Christmas in Catalonia lasts longer than in other parts of Europe and the world. Catalans celebrate Three Kings Day on January 6. On that day, everyone opens the gifts that three magic kings coming from different parts of the world leave under the tree.
The previous night, however, is very special as kids young and old alike welcome the Three Kings to the city after their journey on a long parade.
The 2023 parade will have a new route as Via Laietana street is currently being refurbished; therefore, the parade will not be able to pass through it.
Over one kilometer in length and around a three-to-four-hour spectacle, the parade will feature over 1,100 people working on it.
Six new parades cars will be seen this year, including individual ones for each of the Three Kings once again, as during the pandemic they shared a car to make the whole thing shorter.
The other three new car parades will be the 'Star' that guides the Three Kings, another one to teach kids how to fall asleep despite the excitement of the special day, and one focused on the presents that children will open the following day. Each of these three parade cars will be over 20 meters in length.