December. It’s the holiday season, time for work parties, long weekends and… Christmas markets. Once those iconic areas have been set up in the city, that’s when you know Christmas is well and truly here. In today’s post, we highlight five of the markets taking place in Catalonia. Some have been going for decades, while others are newer to the scene. While you can find a bit of everything at Christmas markets, the ones we’re focusing on specialize in food and Christmas figures and decorations.
Let’s start off with the food markets. For those of you who still aren’t sure what to make and treat the family to on Christmas Day, we suggest visiting the food fairs held during this season in the towns and cities of the province of Barcelona.
We’ll start with one of the fairs that’s right in our backyard and feels most like our own. Vilafranca’s Rooster Fair (Fira del Gall) is unquestionably one of the best fairs for finding high-quality poultry for your Christmas roast. Dating back over 350 years, the Rooster Fair is a true classic, in addition to being the only place in Catalonia where you can get the full experience of the entire process from raising to tasting the Penedès Rooster, a product recognized with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Capons, chickens, geese, turkeys, black roosters and Muscovy ducks are the real stars of this show. What’s more, this fair is the only one in Catalonia that offers the possibility of using a slaughterhouse service. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn about and get first-hand experience of an indigenous product, its region and gastronomy, in a such a special setting. And also to try some Jean Leon wines, of course! You can see the entire program (in Catalan) here😉
This fair held in Prat de Llobregat is another spot where you can find good poultry. In particular, this city is home to Catalana chickens (known as pota blava in Catalan due to its blue legs). A strong, high-quality breed, it will tickle diners’ taste buds when used in dishes such as roast chicken with prunes and pine nuts, a traditional Catalan favorite.
Next, we go to the Vallès Oriental region to tell you about the market where the real star is nougat. Held in the streets and squares of the town’s historical center, this fair is the best way to learn about the endless varieties of nougat made by the confectioners of Cardedeu. One variety you have to try in particular is the torró de borrego, a specialty of Cardedeu’s traditional confectionery made with the local cookies known as borregos flavored with anise liqueur and aniseed. It’s even registered as a quality artisan product.
We’ll move on from the foodie side of Christmas now to tell you about two iconic Christmas figure and decoration fairs: the Santa Llúcia fair in Vilafranca and Barcelona. First up is the fair closest to Jean Leon.
Traditional nativity scene figures, fir trees, moss, the traditional Catalan Christmas logs known as tions… You can find all the Christmas classics at this fair, which has become a point of reference in the region. But, it has more than just decorations: It’s also become famous for its musical performances.
We finish off our market and fair suggestions with one of the best held in our region. Celebrated since 1786, around Barcelona cathedral, it includes over 300 stands from all over Catalonia. Besides all the usual features of a Christmas fair, one unique aspect is the instruments area with friction drums, tambourines and drums. All the instruments you could need to really celebrate! Are you ready?