7 fairs for putting together your nativity scene

There's no need to travel to the north of Europe to enjoy the magic of Christmas markets; there are plenty of towns and cities in the regions of Barcelona which hold lovely fairs where you can purchase figures for your nativity scene and all sorts of Christmas decorations. Some remain open until 23 December, but why wait until the last minute? Drop by this weekend and feel the warmth of Christmas spirit.

1. Fair of the 'Puríssima' (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) in Sant Boi de Llobregat

One of the most ancient Christmas fairs in Catalonia is held in Sant Boi de Llobregatover the weekend closest to the feast day of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on 8 December. It's a very big fair with different areas, offering a wealth of retail products, food and culture. However, if you're looking for stalls with Christmas decorations and lovely traditional nativity scenes, head to Plaça de l'Ajuntament.

2. Fair of the 'Puríssima' (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) in Gironella

The Fair of the Puríssima (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) is held in Gironella on 8 December. You simply must taste the special sweetcorn stew, cooked outdoors. Another must-see attraction is the exhibition of nativity scenes, since Gironella is famous for the intricate dioramas and nativity scenes produced by its townsfolk.

3. Fair of Santa Llúcia in Vilafranca del Penedès

The most exquisite Christmas decorations can be purchased at the Fair of Santa Llúcia in Vilafranca del Penedès: from traditional nativity scene figures and moss to Christmas trees, not to mention candles, table centrepieces or mistletoe. The market is also well known for its musical performances, so check the programme and plan your visit in advance!

4. Christmas Fair in Mataró

The Christmas fair held in Plaça de Santa Anna in Mataró is one of the most famous in the regions of Barcelona, due to both its picturesque setting and the quality of the figures and ornaments sold on the stalls. The tasting and craft workshops are also very popular, with all sorts of options available, from making angel decorations to decorating biscuits.

5. Fair of Santa Llúcia in Barcelona

We'll end this brief tour of the best Christmas markets with one that has been held next to Barcelona Cathedral since 1786, when the practice began of selling nativity scenes and clay or cardboard figures to worshippers as they left Mass. Today, the Fair of Santa Llúcia boasts over 300 stalls. The musical instrument area of the market is particularly interesting, since friction drums, tambourines and drums are essential ingredients for celebrating festivities that live on in the memories of children and adults alike.

6. Christmas Fair in Sant Celoni

Sant Celoni holds its traditional Christmas Fair on the first weekend in December. Over 120 stalls are set up in the streets of the town centre, so one of them is bound to have the figure you're looking for to complete your nativity scene. The market also offers a programme of activities with something for everyone: tourist train, shows for children, donkey rides, arts and crafts workshops, bouncy castles, concerts, a botifarra (Catalan sausage) feast and delicious broth.

7. Fir Tree Fair in Espinelves

In early December, Espinelves holds one of the most charming Christmas markets in the regions of Barcelona. This idyllic town in the heart of the Montseny area is the ideal place to find your Christmas tree and you'll have a lovely time strolling in the surrounding forests as well. If you make your way there, don't miss the chance to try local products at the food stands. They're truly mouthwatering!

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