Activities and events in January in Barcelona
January in Barcelona; after all those celebratory moments in December, January gives everyone a moment to relax and recharge. However, it does not mean the end of winter activities yet, since a lot of the markets are still open throughout January. Even though January is known for being the coldest month of the year in Barcelona, there will, without a doubt, still be a lot of sunny days to enjoy.
What to do in January in Barcelona?
The Three Kings Day (‘Día de los Reyes Magos’ in Spanish)
The Three Kings Day (‘Día de los Reyes Magos’ in Spanish) is one of the most celebrated holidays in Spain. The excitement starts the day before on the 5th of January, when the Three Wise Men arrive and each city has their own ‘Cavalcada’ parade. The Three Kings are essentially the same as Santa Claus at Christmas, so on the evening of the 5th children leave a pair of shoes outside their doors for the Kings to fill with gifts.
For many Spanish families, the 6th of January is an important public holiday in which everyone comes together to unwrap their second lot of presents, eat plenty of food and there is of course the traditional cake called the ‘Roscon de Reyes’. Hidden inside is a small plastic king or queen and whoever finds it is the monarch for the day. There is also a bean inside the cake; the unfortunate recipient has to buy the Roscon the following year.
New Year’s Day
There is no better way to start the new year than with a quick dive into the sea. Traditionally this is followed by an extensive lunch with the family, but there are, of course, many different things that you can do in the city to celebrate the first day of the year!
On the 17th of January, ‘Tres Tombs’ is celebrated all around Catalonia. In Sant Andreu and Sant Antoni, one can find some of the traditional events, such as the parade with carriages and animals. It owes its name to the tradition of walking around the church three times to receive the priest’s blessing for the animals. It is celebrated in honor of Sant Antoni Abat, who is the patron saint of pets and other animals whose name day is on the 17th of January.
Tres Tombs de Sant Andreu
This tradition revolves around Catalan farmers. Part of the tradition is the parade with all of the animals. In the neighborhood of Sant Andreu, this parade has been part of the celebration for centuries. On Sunday everyone in the neighborhood takes their animals to Placa d’Orfila in order for them to receive a blessing. The parade with carriages and floats takes place between 10.00 and 15.00.
Festa Major de Sant Antoni
January is the month in which Sant Antoni celebrates the neighborhood. There are many fun family activities to enjoy, and of course, there will be a ‘Gran fogueró’, a parade, and the traditional procession with fire known as the ‘correfoc’.
Foguerons de Sa Pobla in Gràcia
The Foguerons de Sant Antoni de Sa Pobla a Gràcia is a highly remarkable ceremony held on the last Saturday of January in the Gràcia neighborhood. Seeing as it is traditionally from Mallorca, Majorcan foods are consumed along with traditional dances. Another noticeable tradition that is part of this celebration is all of the little bonfires in the different squares around Gràcia. There are also a ton of different workshops to attend and tastings of Majorcan products.
Chinese New Year
At the end of January, the Chinese New Year is celebrated. As with many of the Spanish celebrations, the ‘Chinese community in Barcelona also celebrates with a special big parade that starts at Parc de l’Estació del Nord and ends at Arc de Triomf. It really is a beautiful sight; all of those colorful lions and dragons in the parade and the decorative fireworks. For those who want to go and see the parade, it starts at 11.30.
Palo Alto Market
This fun and cozy market take place on the first weekend of every month. The market is located near an old factory, which adds even more authenticity and sparks to this special event. Not only are there a ton of cute stalls with clothing, accessories, and home décor, but there is also live music, incredible food stalls, and amazing art. The tickets are sold online and are available for two different time slots; there is one for the daytime and one for the nighttime.
If you are looking for a fun family activity, then the circus is the perfect thing for you! This really is a winter classic in Barcelona. The circus is open from December until March, so there’s still enough time to go and see the show. The circus first opened its door in 1971, so expect the unexpected. These acrobats are, without a doubt, incredibly skilled.
January is the perfect month to go shopping since there is a winter sale at most stores. So if you have been gifted any gift cards during Christmas time, then now is the best time to redeem them.