Catalan Christmas: Cava and Kings, where children get to beat a log until it poos out their presents!

December 24, 2014 03:22 PM | Nell English

Logs that poo presents, men with 365 noses, and cakes with hidden surprises, Christmas in Catalonia has many of its own unique traditions. These include 'Caga Tió' - a log that brings edible goodies  to children; live nativity scenes featuring 'El Caganer' - a humorous hidden figure to bring good luck, and 'El Tortell de Reis' a cake that can turn you into a King. While the Santa-led celebration on the 25th is becoming increasingly important due to marketing and globalisation, in Catalonia traditionally the biggest day (when children receive presents) is the 6th of January, which is the 'Dia de Reis' (Day of the Kings), when kids wake up and discover presents brought by the Three Wise Men. The night before, the Three Kings parade around the main cities and towns, forming a big colourful and festive procession.

The most magical night for children in Catalonia

January 4, 2013 09:26 PM | CNA

All towns in Catalonia welcome the arrival of the Three Wise Men on the 5th of January. Children and parents gather on the streets throughout the country to greet the Kings from the East in an enormous display of colour, sweets and presents that cannot fail to delight everyone. The Three Wise Men often travel by camel, but they have also been known to visit some towns using floats, classic cars, boats or even helicopters! Catalan children are very excited that night, because this is the “magical night” on which they traditionally receive their big Christmas presents – although some also get presents from other magic figures such as Santa or the very Catalan tradition of the ‘caga tió’ on the 24th of December.

Ski resorts and holiday cottages in Catalonia experience a quiet Christmas season

January 9, 2012 10:57 PM | CNA

Hoteliers around Catalonia faced a difficult Christmas tourist season with occupancy rates that were below 50% in some areas. The only exceptions could be found in areas where snow attracted skiers, such as Val d’Aran and adjacent counties. In those areas there was an occupancy rate of between 70% and 85%. Rural tourism suffered its poorest results and does not forecast a recovery for 2012.

The Three Wise Men arrive in Catalonia carrying presents and causing excitement

January 5, 2012 07:56 PM | CNA

The night of January 5th is the most important and magical nights of the year for thousands of children in Catalonia. It is when the Three Wise Men –or the Three Kings in Catalan– bring presents. Traditionally in Catalonia, presents are not delivered by Santa Claus on the evening of December 24th, but instead on the evening of January 5th by the Three Kings who arrive in all Catalan towns. Parades are organised to welcome them. Afterwards, when the children are sleeping, they enter through the window or balcony and leave presents for every family member.

The largest ice-skating rink in Europe opens in downtown Barcelona to attract shoppers

December 5, 2011 09:48 PM | CNA

The ice rink has been fully funded by the private retail sector. It aims to attract locals and visitors to Barcelona city centre in the hope that consumers will spend more in the Christmas period. Catalunya Square is the location for the largest ice-skating rink of its kind in Europe. The attraction has caused controversy because it occupies public space for a private activity in a time of serious economic difficulties.