Although Catalonia doesn’t celebrate Easter quite as passionately as the rest of Spain, there are still plenty of church services to attend, religious processions to watch and some delicious traditional cake to eat to honour this annual holiday. So you don’t miss out on a spectacular parade or have to go without any groceries because the supermarkets are shut, here’s our quick family guide to Easter 2017 in Barcelona. Enjoy easter in one of our family hotels in Barcelona.
Official Public Holiday Dates
- April 9th – Palm Sunday
- April 14th – Good Friday
- April 16th and 17th – Easter Sunday and Monday
On these days most supermarkets, shops, banks, government buildings and even some bars and restaurants will be closed. If you forget to pick up any essentials beforehand, you’ll be glad to hear that some small supermarkets and shops in the main tourist areas remain open during the public holidays.
A traditional palm blessing is a unique religious celebration you’ve got to see. Image via Flickr, Stvcr, CC 2.0
What to Do on Palm Sunday
On this day all churches hold Palm Sunday masses which often include a palm blessing ceremony. During the ceremony, the parish priest will leave the church to bless people outside carrying laurel branches decorated with ribbons. You can take part in a blessing ceremony by picking up a decorated laurel branch of your own from the Feria de Ramos market outside the Barcelona Cathedral, the market along Rambla de Catalunya or the market by the Sagrada Familia church.
Easter processions in Barcelona are truly amazing. Image via Flickr, William Bakal, CC 2.0
What to Do on Good Friday
Some of the best processions take place between 4pm and 11pm outside the Barcelona Cathedral. During these processions, groups from nearby churches travel to the cathedral wearing religious clothing and carrying crucifixes alongside by beautifully decorated floats. These floats are adorned with large wooden effigies of Christ, sculptures of the Virgin Mary and representations of other biblical figures and scenes which are carried by the people of the church.
A modern take on a traditional Mona de Pascua with coloured eggs. Image via Flickr, HojadeMenta, CC 2.0
What to Do on Easter Monday
Most families celebrate this day with a traditional Easter cake known as a “Mona de Pascua”. The cake dates back to the 15th century, when godparents were required to bake a rich, decadent cake for their godchildren after lent. You can pick up Mona de Pascua cake from practically any supermarket, bakery and chocolate shop in Barcelona. The authentic ones are round like a donut and topped with boiled eggs. But today you can get all kinds of shapes and variations, including cakes made out of solid chocolate.
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