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In this section you will find articles about Catalan culture to learn about local customs and ways of life. To enjoy Barcelona like a local would, you can rent one of our apartments in the uptown residential areas of Barcelona.
Catalan culture differs from Spanish culture and has its own set of traditional festivals. We made a survey asking 850 non-natives from 26 different nations who have lived in Barcelona for at least 3 months "What is the Catalan tradition that has impressed you the most?. The number one result was Sant Jordi (Saint George's Day). April 23 in Barcelona turns the city into a very romantic place and the streets fill with flowers and book stalls.
The second favourite Catalan tradition was Castellers, in which participants form human castles. They take place all over the country, however you'll likely see them in Barcelona during events like the Mercè Festival.
You may have heard about Correfocs - meaning "fire run" - a name which gives a good idea of what to expect. More than just fireworks, it's a fiery parade with music, colour, and explosions. It's an unmissable expression of Catalan culture and you can see it during annual neighbourhood festivities and other important events.
A somber date for Catalans is 11 September, commemorating anniversary of the fall of Barcelona in 1714. It was on this date that Catalonia lost its political independence. The date is now marked as National Catalonia Day, which has celebrations around the city, and in more recent years millions-strong peaceful demonstrations in favour of independence.
If you visit Barcelona during the winter or if you live here, then expect to witness the New Year celebrations. There are three traditions to celebrate the arrival of the new year: eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight, putting a gold object in your glass of champagne to toast, and wearing red underwear. These are no specific to the Catalan culture but also Spain. Christmas, however, has plenty of unique-to-Catalonia traditions, like the Caganer and Caga Tió, and Barcelona as a city transforms into a winter-wonderland.
Across Spain, Easter is still well-celebrated. It's not as big of a deal in Catalonia, but compared to many other countries it is. In Catalonia, the most important day for locals is Palm Sunday when locals flock to their local church with dried palms and children get sweets, whilst hitting the branches to the floor. There is also a float representing Jesus's return to Jerusalem on a donkey called the Burreta. There's also Easter Friday. Religious Catalans will eat fish on this day, for example a dish with cod called Esqueixada. Then there are the "Monas de Pascua", these days usually scenes from children's favourite cartoons constructed from chocolate and other delicious treats.
How to be a good Catalan in 5 simple steps!
National Catalonia Day is approaching! Learn how to be a good Catalan with these steps....
National Day of Catalonia — 8 facts about La Diada
Eight things you need to know about La Diada of Catalonia
The Essential Guide to the Catalan Correfoc
Everything you need to know to enjoy a Catalan Correfoc.
Catalan referendum: 1 in 3 foreigners in favour
This is what foreigners residing in Barcelona think about the Referendum. 1 in 3 are in favour....
Crappy Christmas traditions? Barcelona has two!
What are Catalonia's Caganer and Caga Tió Christmas traditions? And why are they pooping?
What are the best Catalan traditions?
Top 10 Catalan traditions found in Barcelona
All about the Three Wise Men
Other than Santa Clause, the Three Wise men are also celebrated in Spain on The Epiphany
What is there to do during New Year's Eve in Barcelona
A complete guide about what you will find to do on New Year's Eve in Barcelona
Evolution of the Diada from 2012-2017
The National Day of Catalonia, the Diada, didn't used to be as multitudinous as it is now.
Key facts about the Catalan Referendum
Key facts to help understand the causes of the peaking of the Independence Movement in Catalonia
Immigration in Barcelona: Contemporary History
A review of the history of immigration in Barcelona in the contemporary era — causes and cons...
Barcelona, Capital of a New Country - Part 1.
Learn the main reasons that have caused the call for Catalan Independence to spread.
Where to dance the Salsa in Barcelona
The best clubs and bars to learn to dance salsa in Barcelona!
How is Easter celebrated in Barcelona?
Spend Easter in the Catalan capital and enjoy the city, from its traditions to its chocolate.
Gaudí, from architecture to Catalanism
Discover the Catalan architect's love and compromise for his land through his works.
What do to do in Barcelona over Christmas?
Experience a cozy Christmas with typical Catalan traditions.