Easter in Barcelona
If you happen to visit Barcelona during Easter then you will enjoy a Spanish version of Easter. Easter week in Barcelona is called 'Semana Santa' meaning holy week. The holy week begins from Palm Sunday known as Domingo de Ramos in Spain. This year the Palm Sunday falls on 1st April 2012 and Good Friday falls on 6th April.
The holy week will end on 8th April is called Lunes de Pascua or Dilluns de Pasqua (Easter Monday). Easter holiday is an interesting and cultural period in Barcelona due to the Christian traditions that dictate Easter should be adhered to and celebrated. Locals living in Barcelona usually leave the city because their families live in nearby towns and villages. Researchers have estimated that around 600,000 people leave the city, no wonder this mass exodus is called operation "Salida". It means operation exit.
Easter will come with a warm and gentle spring, a season which tourists can immensely enjoy during the parade. Many Easter-related parades are held in Barcelona. Since it is a holiday, be prepared to see a huge crowd when waiting for the parade. These parades are organized by the "Cofradias", meaning brotherhood of lay people. These are men and women blessed especially by the church to organize the processions. The Easter parade is called "Pasos", it means steps or passage. One of the largest and oldest procession takes place in the community of Hospitalet de Llobregat (metro blue 15). It can be dated back to 1977 and plenty of people participate in the procession annually. But I recommend assisting to the processions in Barrio Gotico, near Barcelona Cathedral on Viernes Santo, Holy Friday.
Easter is also the perfect time to enjoy some of the local food. Christians don't eat any meat on Good Friday, which is why seafood is eaten more this time around. The most popular seafood during Good Friday is Cod. If seafood is not your thing then you can wait till Monday to enjoy the variety of dessert made especially for Easter. You can stop by bakeries and chocolates shops that will have all the Easter treats like Mones, Bunyels, Torrijas, Rosca de Pascua, Pestinos and who could forget the Mona de Pascua.
The last dish is a unique Catalonian culinary tradition. It is a cocoa cake with chocolate topping, in the form of a big doughnut. Originally the empty space in the donuts was used to fill boiled eggs but now a variety of other decorations are used. This is why Easter in the capital of Spain is going to be an interesting one because you will get to see and enjoy Spanish tradition and food.