What to do and how to discover Barcelona’s Easter traditions

Spain is a Catholic country, and as in all the Catholic countries, the Holy Week of Easter is a very important week for the religious people. Everywhere around the country there are celebrations and processions, in the small villages, just as in the big cities. If you don’t know where to go for Easter, Barcelona is one of the best places. In this post, we will show you the Easter Week and the related Catalan traditions, especially those of Barcelona.

Although in Barcelona, the week that precedes Easter is lived in a more modern way than in the rest of the Spain, like Sevilla, the Catholic traditions are still an important part of the culture of the city. These festivities are a good excuse, if you don’t know where to go for Easter, to travel to Barcelona during this part of the year.

The processions of the Holy Week

The Holy Week in Barcelona officially starts on Palm Sunday (domingo de Ramos), the Sunday before Easter. The tradition requires the godmother to give a special palm leaf to her goddaughter, as beautiful as possible, and if she has a godson, a palm as tall as possible. These palms are blessed during the mass, which is followed by a procession called “La Burreta” that commemorates the entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem. In the past, these palms were hung on the doors of the houses till the Carnival the following year.

The procession on Palm Sunday is the beginning of the Easter celebrations. During the week before Easter, there are many important processions from which the “Nuestra Señora de las Angustias” and the  “Nuestro Padre Jesús del Gran Poder” are the most important ones. On Friday, they celebrate the processions of “María Santísima de la Esperanza Macarena”. In Barcelona, all these processions go through the Gothic neighborhood and Las Ramblas.

As we said before, the Holy Week in Barcelona is celebrated in a more modern way compared to other parts of Spain, so in order to get immersed in a really Spanish Easter, we recommend you to take the metro to the neighboring city of  Hospitalet de Llobregat (part of the metropolitan area of Barcelona). Here the processions you can see are much more traditional and more similar to those you can see in Sevilla, since most of the population living there are immigrants from Andalusia. Here, the time seems to have stopped, and you can still see those hooded men who march on the street (just like in the time of the Inquisition). The most surprising is to see how they transport the huge sacred statutes, and some of the more conservative participants even march barefoot.

Procession Hospitalet de Llobregat - Holy week in Barcelona

Easter procession - Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona

Hooded men marching in Easter Procession, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona

Women marching - Easter Procession Barcelona

The typical food of the Holy Week

According to the Catholic religion, on Holy Friday, it’s forbidden to eat meat, hence, the typical alternative is to eat fish, and here codfish is the most typical. As you can imagine, there is no festivity without a typical desert. To celebrate the abstinence, on Easter Sunday the “Mona de Pascua” is given as a present, and people eat it on Monday.  Some of these “Monas” are really masterpieces made of chocolate by pastry chiefs. There are all kinds of sizes and prices.

Easter Traditions Barelona - The Mona de Pascua

Mona de Pasqua, Easter in Barcelona

If you don’t know where to go for Easter, you will definitely enjoy the colorful events here.

Do you celebrate Easter holiday? Share with us how you live the Holy Week in your place.

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