03 Dec 2019
DECEMBER – Traditions, fairs and popular festivals
IN A WORLD EVERY MORE GLOBALIZED, TRADITIONS ARE CELEBRATED VERY DIFFERENTLY ACCORDING TO EACH TERRITORY.
December is a month to take stock of what has happened during the year and in which everything we want to leave behind is evaluated and improve what we want to have in advance. But December also marks the holidays that await us and coincide with a large number of popular festivals, events and traditional fairs. Christmas is back and we will reach the end of the year that will lead us to a new change of date and new wishes and projects.
When these dates so marked on our agendas arrive, in which everything is present, abundant meals also arrive strongly. Christmas sweets appear on the scene, such as polvorones and the traditional roscón or, contrary to our habit of eating seafood and fish, banquets of rich and tasty roasts of meat are imposed. But, above all, these days of meeting arrive, emotional and special days in which to share moments and enjoying with our closest friends.
These dates become a benchmark and only, depending on who our interlocutor is and where we are, will we understand Christmas in one way or another. In any corner of the world, even the smallest, millions of people celebrate these festivals marked by tradition and their religious beliefs that, over time, have filled each country with its rites, its music, its preparations and its own customs. A very open view of the meaning of these celebrations that allow us, above all, to live magical moments, full of happiness.
Thanks to the diversity of cultures, different traditions can be enjoyed. Although in each country or region the main ingredients of all these parties that are approaching are common and the general feeling of love, fraternity and solidarity predominates, there are some notable differences that make Christmas celebrations unique in each territory. Christian celebration rather than festivity, Christmas is not a party that is celebrated equally in all countries of the world, differences that are found in the origin of their religion. Christians, Muslims, Hinduists and Buddhists disagree on how to venerate the prophet that gives rise to these celebrations. Judaism does not celebrate Christmas, but its typical holiday is the Hanuka, or festival of lights, for eight days in December. Muslims, meanwhile, celebrate two festivals: the Eid al-Fitr, an immediate feast to the Ramadan fast, and the Eid al-Adha, a festival of sacrifice during the pilgrimage to Mecca, a city that every Muslim must visit at least one Once in a lifetime. Buddhism does not hold large celebrations this month, as its calendar settles the new year in the month of February. The celebrations of this religion are based, fundamentally, on aspects of religious practice and family harmony, rather than on large meals. Finally, for their part, Hindus celebrate Diwali, a kind of Christmas advanced in November. During this holiday, one of the main celebrations of the Hindu calendar, the new year begins with a party in which sweets are given among family and friends, and where the triumph of the god Ram over the Ravana demon is commemorated.
Prior to Christmas days, there are different fairs and popular events. Some of them are carried out with the purpose of helping both the decoration and the preparation of the Christmas holidays. You can find a wide range of cultural, recreational or decorative objects to set these dates.
One of the most popular and traditional is the Fira de la Puríssima by Sant Boi de Llobregat, between December 6 and 8, which this year reaches the 73rd edition. It is one of the oldest fairs held and one of the most visited in Catalonia. It combines tradition and modernity and in the edition of this 2.019 comes to show the commitment of the city of Sant Boi with Climate Change, health and sustainable mobility. The Fair will once again have a free transport service with the Firabús, which allows the FGC railway station to be connected to the fairground to promote travel by public transport during the three days of the event. People who, upon arrival at the Fair, show the FGC ticket at the information point of the Town Hall square will receive a gift for choosing a sustainable mobility option.
Also, until December 8, you can visit the Fira de l’Avet d’Espinelves, one of the most unique Christmas fairs in Catalonia. In the Fair you can find all kinds of natural and artisan products, such as sausages, cheeses or nougat and a sample of artisan crafts, apart from the traditional fir trees in which the different stops offer copies of the different native varieties.
And if we continue with the fairs, we must also refer to the Fira de Santa Llúcia. The oldest known date of this fair corresponds to 1786. It is a very specific date and does not give rise to doubts about the time when it begins to be celebrated. Although it has evolved over the years. Currently the fair usually begins in early December and you can find numerous stops that, located by different sectors of products and services, offer all those items that are needed to decorate homes, establishments or spaces to set the holiday season. The fair is also accompanied by numerous activities organized in parallel and an exhibition of craft models of mangers.
Another of the outstanding activities of this month of December are the representations of the “Pessebres Vivents” that are carried out in Catalonia and that usually start from day 6. There is a calendar of representations that focuses mainly on holidays and In weekends.
And you cannot end the year without attending the Festa del Pi. Every December 30, in Centelles, this party is held that is documented since 1751. Linked to the local patron saint, Santa Coloma, it is a celebration that coincides with the winter solstice. This party deserved the title of Traditional Festival of National Interest granted in 1987 and subsequently reclassified as Patrimonial Party of National Interest in 2010.