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Christmas traditions Catalonia – December 2019

One more year the Christmas Holidays arrive, a time to enjoy the company of family and friends.

Here is a sample of the most common traditions of Catalonia during this time of year:

-To make the nativity scence: it consists in making the representation of the birth of the child Jesus, it is constructed from moss, trunks, cork, with mud figures of characters of the rural life. One of the indispensable elements not to be missed is the figure of the “caganer”, a crouching shepherd with the position of defecating who returns to the earth what comes from it and contributes to fertilize the field to improve the following year’s harvest.

-Going to see the “pastorets”: This is a traditional 16th century theatrical performance. The action of this type of theatre plays are usually done in three acts: a short story about Joseph and Mary, the struggle between good (angels) and evil (demons) and a portrait of the local customs of the shepherds, usually in a tone of humour.

-To make “cagar el tió”: It is a tradition that is celebrated on December 24 and consists of the children of the house hitting a trunk (the tió) while singing the traditional song of the “cagatió”. This “caga” gifts that are usually sweets and treats or small gifts.

-Go and wait for The Three Kings Wise Men parade: The night of January 5th is another of the dates most awaited by children. Witness the traditional parade, take the opportunity to deliver the letter to the Kings, carry the bags full of candy, dinner and go to sleep soon, for the next day open the gifts.