Although many see Easter as a Christian religious festival, it is also about many other things. In fact there is strong evidence to strengthen the claim that Easter was celebrated by pagans long before Christianity even arrived. That Easter is determined by the phase of the moon and not by a specified date is just one such case in point. So along with the rebirth of Christ we are also celebrating the spring equinox, where everything in nature comes back to life after a hard winter. For this reason Easter is one of the best times to travel, because everything is at its most fresh and beautiful. Of course Barcelona is no exception.
As Spain is predominantly a Catholic country and Barcelona is one of Spain’s biggest and best cities there is obviously plenty going on around Easter time. To make things even better the sun has just started to rediscover its strength and the trees are all beginning to bloom with sweet scented blossom. So there are few better times to visit the city. Of course the warmer weather also encourages people to take to the streets and there are plenty of processions and outdoor celebrations to see.
The days that lead up to Lent are celebrated all over the world with pancake days and Mardi Gras. Barcelona is no different and there are all sorts of food festivals and street parties to be enjoyed. It is known as the Carnival Carnestoltes and in the Catholic religion this is your last chance to eat, drink and, generally, be happy before you have to abstain from anything fun for a given period. So why not join in with our religious friends and, rather than take everything in moderation, binge for a few days and then have a few weeks off.
After Lent comes Holy Week or Semana Santa as it is known in Barcelona. This is a time when Christians really put the effort into their religion and spend an awful lot of time praying. However, Barcelona is a part of the Catalunya region of Spain, which is traditionally less religious than the others.
That said, there are still plenty of things to do and if you want some religious fun then head to the Cathedral on Palm Sunday, when lots of Catholics will gather to march and wave palm leaves. Over the next seven days Christians will spend quite a bit of time attending religious ceremonies, but if you aren’t really that fussed there is one thing that Barcelona can offer to everybody at this time off year.
Chocolate figurines are the order of the day and every confectionary shop in the city will show off its wares in window displays. Some are very religious and seem almost sacrilegious to bite into, others, however, are far more bizarre; Chocolate Shrek anyone?
So you don’t need to be religious to enjoy Barcelona at Easter as the city welcomes all visitors with the same amount of glory. However, there is a lot to do and see at this time of year so if you fancy a European Spring Break, then this could be just the spot.