Traditions

Discover Barcelona through its habits and traditions.

The Vermouth

Vermouth has made a comeback!

Although it never completely went out of style, vermouth, the exquisite drink with a hint of bitterness, is experiencing a new heyday in Barcelona. The old tradition of enjoying a glass with friends or family at emblematic bodegas is now more popular than ever.

Having vermouth is seen as an official rite; the rite of the aperitif, once exclusive to the class of bourgeoisie in the 18th century. Vermouth is made with fortified aromatized wine, infused with herbs and spices soaked in water and ethanol. Sometimes, a touch of caramel is added to give it a rich reddish color. Vermouth is a perfect excuse to get together with loved ones in the afternoon, and because of its popularity and role the role it plays in many aperitifs, finding a bar or bodega in which to enjoy vermouth with some tapas is thankfully very easy nowadays in Barcelona.

Sant Jordi

Day of the Book and the Rose

Every April 23, Sant Jordi, patron saint of Catalonia, is celebrated. According to tradition, they give a rose to their beloved, friends, companions or relatives and they give them a book in return. In fact, the Sant Jordi Festival coincides with the Day of the Book, which commemorates the death of Miguel de Cervantes.

The Day of Sant Jordi is more multitudinous and colorful in Barcelona. Las Ramblas is full of book and roses stops from early in the morning.

La Mercè

Annual Barcelona's Celebration

Every year, on September 24, Barcelona celebrates its annual celebration: La Mercè, patron saint of the city. The main festivals offer a wide range of activities, concerts, performances and countless recreational and cultural events. The vast majority are made on the street and completely free of charge.

La Mercè is the great celebration of all audiences, the one that leaves no one unhappy because it offers proposals for all tastes and all ages.

La Castanyada

The most popular autumn celebration

La Castañada is a tradition that goes back to the Middle Ages, when the bell-ringers had to ring the bells for dead all night so that the inhabitants of Barcelona prayed for their souls. It is said that the neighbors went to the church to bring nuts, cookies, sweets and wine, and that's where this party was born.

From the 18th century, after the religious celebrations of All Saints' Day, panallets became popular: small sweets of different shapes, made essentially of marzipan, almonds and pine nuts. One of the first written references of the panallets dates from 1807, in the famous Dietario del Barón de Maldà, where it is said that these sweets were already popular in Barcelona.

In this popular festival, chestnut is the other great protagonist as representative product of autumn. Along with the panallets, you can also taste: roasted sweet potatoes and moscatell, typical sweet wine.

Santa Llúcia Fair

The traditional Christmas fair

The first written references of the fair of Santa Lucia (Santa Llúcia) date from 1786 but it seems that the celebration of this Christmas fair could be much older.

Each year, the oldest Christmas fair in Catalonia is installed, around December 13 (the Santa Llúcia day) in front of the Cathedral of Barcelona with more than three hundred stalls. In the fair we can find figures to mount the Bethlehem, fir trees, decorative elements, musical instruments: tambourines, carraclas and zambombas to accompany the carols; "Cagations" and the traditional "caganers".