Monday, September 26, 2011

SHOPPING IN BARCELONA: TRADITIONAL FAIRS



Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city where you can find several shopping areas like:




However, it has a lot of respect for its old traditions. It is a good example of a Mediterranean city, its streets full of life, commercial activity and interchange between its inhabitants.

Fairs and markets are one of the best reflections of street life. In Barcelona, there are fairs that go back a long time and others that only last a day, fairs that specialise in one product and travelling fairs, big fairs and small ones, that reach into every corner of the city. Next you have some of the most important traditional fairs in Barcelona.



Fira de Sant Jordi - Saint George, the patron saint of Catalonia

Every year, on 23 April, the city fills with books and roses for the most important civic festival on the Catalan calendar. On Saint George's Day, books and roses are given as presents. This tradition, which combines the rose as a symbol of love and the book as a symbol of culture, has turned 23 April into a cheerful celebration where everyone joins in, filling the city's streets and squares with little stalls, covered with books and flowers. It is a day to take a walk and enjoy looking at streets that have been turned into open-air bookshops.

In fact, thousands of local people and visitors crowd the streets. This is a very popular event and a special day for enjoying Barcelona.



Fira de Santa Llúcia - the Christmas fair in front of the cathedral

This fair announces the arrival of Christmas. Here is where the pessebres (nativity scenes), Christmas trees and Christmas decorations are sold. The biggest is held on Plaça Nova in front of the Barcelona cathedral's main façade and around the sides, where you can buy presents and handmade objects. It takes place between 8 and 23 December, from 9am to 10pm.

Fira de Santa Llúcia in Barcelona
El Caga tió is one of the christmas gifts you can buy in La Fira de Santa Llúcia in front of the Cathedral Square in Barcelona

There are other fairs on Avinguda de Gaudí, at the Sagrada Família, from 4 to 23 December, and on Plaça de Bonet i Muixí, in Sants-Montjuïc.

On Plaça Nova there is also an antiques fair on thursday from 9am to 8pm (except august).


Fira de Sant Ponç - Ciutat Vella, on Carrer de l'Hospital

The street fills with stalls selling the typical produce of Catalonia, natural products and medicinal herbs, with their different colours and aromas. The Costumari català (Catalan Customs) attributes the worship of Sant Ponç (Saint Pontius) to the old church at the Hospital de la Santa Creu (Hospital of the Holy Cross) where herbs were blessed.

This tradition is celebrated in other districts, for example, on Carrer de Blai, in Poble-Sec, on 10 and 11 May. In Sants typical festival sweets and cakes are sold.



Traditional fair in Plaça del Pi in Barcelona
Traditional fair in Plaça del Pi with stalls selling the typical produce of Catalonia, natural products and medicinal herbs


More info clicking on the following link of the Barcelona website



Numismatics and Philately


This fair is held on Plaça Reial on sundays from 10am to 2pm.


Other traditional fairs

Fires de Rams

All week prior to Palm Sunday, "palm fairs" are held to mark the festival, around the cathedral in the Gothic Quarter, on the Rambla de Catalunya, Plaça de la Sagrada Família and Plaça de Bonet i Muixí, in Sants-Montjuïc.

Fira de Reis - Kings Fair on the Gran Via


There are toys and presents for everyone on this stretch of the Gran Via, between Carrer d’Entença and Carrer de Muntaner, from 23 December to Kings Day (6 January) It stays open till very late on Kings' Day Eve. Presents are collected for hospitals and children from poor families.


Craft fairs


Fira d'Artesans - craft fair in Plaça de la Vila de Madrid

Next to La Rambla. This is organised by the Col·lectiu d’Artesans i Creadors Sant Jordi-Grup Fèmina, every Saturday, except in July and August, from 11am to 8.30pm, and between Christmas and Kings Day.

It sells handmade ornaments and decorative items. The same people hold a fair on the Moll del Dipòsit, next to the Palau de Mar in Port Vell (on Sundays in winter, at weekends from Easter on and every day in July and August, from 11am to 8.30pm) in Portal de l'Àngel (11am to 8pm, between 8 and 27 March) and Plaça de Joaquim Folguera.


Encants Vells or Fira de Bellcaire - flea market


Now next to Plaça de les Glòries, it sells second-hand objects and antiques. From November to March: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9am - 6pm. From April to October: same days, 9am - 7pm. More info cliking on www.encantsbcn.com

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