Barcelona’s Santa Llucia Christmas market, or the Feria de Santa Llucia, is a temporary market set up in front of Barcelona’s cathedral in the Gothic Quarter. The classic Christmas market is held every December and is a fantastic way to experience the Catalan and Spanish culture. The Christmas market dates back to 1786 and features about 300 market stalls selling Christmas trees, mistletoe, tiny figures to make your own nativity scene and all kinds of Christmas goodies. It is also the best place to buy a Christmas cagatio or a caganer, which is Catalan for “pooper,” both of which are an important part of the Catalan Christmas.
The cagatio is a log with a face painted on it and wearing a red hat known as a barretina. Many families keep the cagatio in their homes during the Christmas season. On Christmas Day, it’s hidden under a blanket and kids sing a song while beating it with a stick and shaking small presents out of the back end of the log. Another local tradition, which I found quite peculiar, is the caganer. A caganer is a small figure dressed in a traditional peasant costume squatting with his pants down taking a poo. There are also many stalls that sell non-traditional versions of the caganer with famous people and characters instead of the peasant. Some of the non-traditional versions I saw were depictions of Barça fans, Santa Claus, Prince Charles, Barack Obama, Lewis Hamilton, Homer Simpson and many, many more.