I’ll be offering a special Easter photography tour this year that includes some of the best activities and most photogenic themes in Barcelona for the season. First of all we will go in a hunt for the best “mona” in town.
The Special Easter dates in Barcelona 2018 are:
25th March Palm Sunday – Domingo de Ramos
30th March Good Friday – Viernes Santo
1st April – Easter Sunday – Domingo de Resurrección
2nd April – Easter Monday – Lunes de Pascua
We’ll start with last one but not least, that is actually displayed in the shop windows during all the season: the “Mona”. Easter cake in Catalonia is an important culinary tradition called ‘Mona de Pascua’ and celebrated on Easter Monday. The mona is a very old tradition were the Godfather or Godmother used to cook a chocolate “mona” and bring it for children as a gift. Catalonia has a very well known and outstanding pastry tradition and the Barcelona port played a major role in introducing, selling and distributing chocolate in Europe. Bakery owners, chefs and chocolatiers from all over Catalonia take the tradition very seriously and honour it by displaying spectacular “monas” and competing each other. That’s the best moment to look for the best mona in town, admiring fabulous chocolate creations in the shop window of every bakery and getting some explanation about how to do a successful mona,
So, if you are travelling for Easter and wonder what to do in Barcelona you can go to find the best mona in town that for surely will receive a big amount of publicity and will be featured on TV. You might have already realized that monas are far from being a simple cake and most scenes are specially designed with the children’s favourite themes to attract their attention. A Star Wars-themed mona or a Barça-themed one, are some of the most popular ones often created and displayed during those days. I warn you is not a cheap tradition, relatives are willing to spend more than 50 euros to bring home the best mona, but if you don’t know where to start and in order of quality, I recommend not missing these ones:
Escribà: With his beautiful modernista shop in Ramblas and the famous one in Gran Vía, Chef Christian Escriba has the ability to surprise us every year. Their cakes are a mix of art, originality and popular mass media culture. Last year created a mona inspired in Ferrari land, a popular attraction park (Ferrari land Barcelona) and also has created the famous Dali and Picasso cakes inspired in the work of the famous two Spanish artists, so for sure we don’t want to miss what he will deliver this year.
Other bakeries that we will probably want to visit are Hoffmann Pasteleria in the Born area and Barcelona Pastry Shop in Via Augusta. Both delivering original monas and cakes every year.
Carrer Petritxol is a tiny street in the Gothic district that worths a visit during Eater holidays in Barcelona. Actually it deserves a special Easter photography tour on its own. It is famous among locals for being the best place for “chocolate con churros” and for having some great and famous art galleries among them Sala Pares, where Picasso and Dali exhibited when were young. Now for Easter we can visit Petritxol Xocoa, a popular place with chocolate specialties in a cozy environment. The street decoration is amazing for photography, full of Catalan flags, traditional old mosaics, and on a corner, a figure of Virgin of Montserrat, patron saint of Catalonia.
Museu de la Xocolata: Is another place that worth a visit where you can see chocolate as a source of inspiration for art and culture. There we can find many Easter themed activities and dedicated to the chocolate tradition.
Airbnb also has prepared some Easter-theme activities and experiences, so we really recommend to take a look at some of them like …
But actually Easter begins with Palm Sunday, the moment of the blessing of Palma (Domingo de Ramos), the Sunday before Easter Sunday.
Easter processions are also the best frame for documentary photography in Barcelona. You can take a look at the photographs here below and see how they can provide the perfect inspiration for your photography of traditions in Barcelona (and I am planning to do more this holidays).
Palm Sunday starts the “holy” week of Easter with the Palm Sunday masses and the ceremony of the Blessing of Palms (Bendición de la Palma). The palms carried by girls are of a special complicated design with intricatedly woven crosses. Outside Barcelona Cathedral, on Rambla de Catalunya or by well known churches as Santa Maria del Mar, Santa Maria del Pi or Sagrada Familia, you’ll find Easter fairs or markets with Palms for sale during those days leading to Palm Sunday. Traditionally the Palm was actually woven by Godmothers for their Godchildren, but nowadays Palms are mostly bought on these markets.
Sometimes the parish goes outside to bless people with laurel or palm branches in the outside space. There is a procession that day with people carrying palm stalks of different sizes and branches. People usually holds them high to receive the blessing of the parish.
Processions dates, horaries and places:
San Agustín parrish
Procession: La Borriquita is a representation of the moment Jesús enters Jerusalem on a donkey
Hour: 10.00 Iglesia de San Agustín on Plaça Sant Agustí, 2, Raval
Finish time: 12:00 same place
Route: Plaça Sant Agustí, Hospital, La Rambla, Santa Ana, Portal del Ángel, Portaferrisa, La Rambla, Hospital and back to Plaça Sant Agustí
Palm blessing ceremonies
11:00 Barcelona cathedral
12:00 Sagrada Familia. Sagrada Familia
San Agustín Church
Processions by Hermandad del Gran Poder y la Esperanza Macarena
Processions: Paso Cristo and Paso de Palio
Hour: 17.00 Iglesia de San Agustín, Plaça Sant Agustí, 2, Raval area. At 20:00 both processions join the procession of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias in front of Barcelona cathedral
Finish time: around 22.30 same place
Route: Plaça Sant Agustí, La Rambla, Santa Ana, Portal del Ángel, Arcs, Plaza Nova, Avenida Catedral, Boters, Pi, Plaza del Pi, Cardenal Casañas, Boqueria, Hospital and Plaça Sant Agustí
Santa Maria del Mar Basilica
Hour: 09:30 Via Crucis procession – Procession of Stations of the Cross.
Route: Santa Maria del Mar, Pg del Born, Fossar de les moreres, Carrer del Rec, Carrer Bonaire, Carrer Rere palau, Marques argentera, Pla de Palau, carrer Espaseria and finishes at the same point in front of the Basilica.
Hour: 15:00 Les Set Paraules. (Speach that discusses the last seven words said by Jesus before his death)
The Holy Christ is brought to the front of the Cathedral by the Bearers of the Holy Christ of Lepanto to receive the public at 15:00 on Good Friday.
Hour: 18:30 Procession of Stations of the Cross on the Avinguda de la Catedral
Route: On Avinguda de la Catedral
Resurrection Sunday (Easter Day)
Mass and services at all Barcelona churches to celebrate Easter Sunday
Find here a map with the most important spots that we’ve pointed out:
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