Big festivals and major events in Barcelona's surrounding regions: Winter
From the 21st of December 2014 to the 11th of January 2015
Living Nativity Scene in Tona
Among the various nativity scenes today in Catalonia, we would like to highlight the one in Tona because of its setting at the foot of the town's castle, and because every year they assemble and dismantle all the decorations. The light and sound effects and the dialogue between the characters are also features that add value to the performance.
Every weekend and public holiday, including December 24th, from 30th November to 12th January.
Living nativity scene in Corbera de Llobregat
Performances of what is considered to be the first nativity scene in Catalonia began in 1962 on the stage at Penya del Corb, where they still take place today. More than 200 actors take part in the country's most popular nativity scene and performances are always in the afternoon.
From the 21st of December to the 25th of January
Nativity Play in Mataró
Many towns in Catalonia have their representations of the Nativity Play, but the one in Mataro has a special charm. It's because of the scenery, the live music, the 300 volunteers of all ages who make the performance possible and its length (although there are enough breaks to ensure it doesn't get boring). The text they use here is L'estel de Natzaret by Ramon Pàmies. In 1981, it was declared part of the city's cultural heritage.
24th of December
Fia-Faia Festival in Bagà and Sant Julià de Cerdanyola
Fia-faia is a festival to welcome Christmas. In the evening in Baga and Sant Julia de Cerdanyola a fire is lit on top of a hill with views of the sunset. A fire-bearing torch is then taken from there to the centre of each village and a general bonfire party begins, accompanied by songs saying "fia-faia, nostro senyor ha nascut a la paia". When the torches burn out a central bonfire is built for young people to jump over and for others to dance around.
25th to 28th December
Living nativity scene in Sant Pere de Ribes
This year sees the 25th anniversary of this nativity scene, which will take place in the 10th century Castell de Ribes and its adjoining building like the old church, the rectory and the town hall this year. Performance always take place in the afternoon.
30th of December
Festa del Pi (Centelles)
Declared a Traditional Festival of National Interest, the Festa del Pi has been documented since 1751. Every year on 30th December, revelers come out after Mass (held at 7am) and go into the woods to cut down a pine tree and take it to the church. There, amid dances, the tree is hung upside down the chancel, where it remains until Epiphany.
1st and 2nd of February
Truffle Festival in Berguedà (Olvan)
This yearly event, focused on truffles, includes the presence of specialists in their study, cultivation and harvesting, as well as activities such as a competition for young chefs and a truffle-dog contest.
5th of January
Three Kings Festival in Igualada
Pure magic. Hundreds of black pages climbing into the homes of all the children in Igualada. Excitement among kids and adults. The city revolutionized by the three wise men. And these aren't just any kings, but the oldest organized three kings parade in the land, having started in 1895. The festival has recently been declared of national cultural interest and awarded the cross of Sant Jordi.
19th of January
Tres Tombs in Igualada
The Tres Tombs -which predates Christianity- is a celebration that is held in many places, but this is the oldest, and the most illustrious; the work of the organizers, the Antic Gremi de Traginers d'Igualada, has been recognized with various distinctions and awards. The festival has taken place, without interruption by war, since 1822.
15th and 16th of February
Botifarra Sausage Festival (La Garriga)
This festival is designed to promote the local Garriga sausage as a high-quality product and provides information on its process of elaboration. There are obviously tasting sessions, as well as other activities such as giant figure parades and traditional dances.
Festa dels Traginers inBalsareny
The glory days of this town located halfway down the course of the Llobregat river, where the dry farm lands of Manresa begin, arrive on the Sunday before Carnival. The roots of the festival can be traced to the local saint, Saint Antoni, and it was reborn after the Spanish Civil War with the same characteristics we find today: the Mass, the procession, games with hoops and dancing.
27th February to 5th March
Carnivals in Vilanova and in Sitges
If you want to see massive parades in which feathers and sequins play a major role, then Sitges is the carnival for you. Parades like the Rua de la Disbauxa, on Sunday evening, and the Rua de l'Extermini, on Tuesday evening, are the main events here. Vilanova is especially well known for the Comparses, sweet-throwing battles that fill the town with music on Sunday morning, as well as l'Arrivo, Moixó Foguer -a man or a woman covered in honey and feathers appearing and disappearing from a box-, and the Nit de Mascarots.
15th and 16th of March
Boiling pots. Pot and Boiler Market and Crafts Market in Caldes de Montbui
A market with 130 stalls in the historical centre of Caldes de Montbui with many more initiatives such as special dishes offered by the town's restaurants these days, demonstrations of the use of thermal water from of the Font del Lleó for cooking and demonstrations of ancient crafts.
Terrassa Jazz Festival
Terrassa is one of Catalonia's jazz music capitals and this festival, which has been going since 1982, is largely responsible. Organized by the Club de Jazz d'Amics de les Arts and Joventuts Musicals, it attracted more than 20,000 visitors last year. The biggest event in the festival is Picnic Jazz, held in the town's Vallparadís park, while Nova Jazz Cava is a year-round-jazz hotspot.