If you are visiting Barcelona this Easter 2023 here is everything you need to know to make the most of your trip.
Note that this year 2023 is from Sunday 2nd of April (Palm Sunday) until Monday 10th of April (Easter Monday).
What does Easter mean for Catalans?
Easter, known as Pasqua or Setmana Santa (Holy week), is a very important period for Catholics as it remembers the last moments of Jesus Christ on Earth: passion, death and resurrection.
Nowadays, people are less interested in religion so many celebrate the arrival of springtime during this holiday.
What are the most important days of Easter in Barcelona?
In Barcelona these are the important days and traditions during Easter:
- Palm Sunday (Diumenge de Rams: 2nd of April 2023): this is the first Sunday of Easter, when Jesus entered Jerusalem and to sum up people carry palm, laurel or olive leaves to church to be blessed.
The weeks before you can see in the flower shops and also some stalls in the streets (mainly in Rambla Catalunya and around Sagrada Família) that they sell palmes (before they were for girls) and palmons (before they were for boys) for the kids to carry on Palm Sunday (now it doesn’t matter who brings what). Godfathers and godmothers gave them to their godsons and goddaughters and put some candies and bows on the palmes and palmons and all together go to church.
I still remember one year that some tourists saw my sister and me with one palma each and took a picture with us because they found it curious haha 🙂
Is also a tradition to hang these palm leaves, palmes and palmons on the balconies so they bring you luck and protect you from bad spirits.
- Maundy or Holy Thursday (Dijous Sant: 6th of April 2023): this day commemorates the Holy Supper that Jesus Christ had with his disciples before being betrayed by Judas and then crucified.
- Good Friday (Divendres Sant: 7th of April 2023): remembers the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. You can see some processions around Barcelona’s Cathedral.
- Holy Saturday (Dissabte Sant: 8th of April 2023): is a day of mourning.
- Easter Sunday (Dilluns de Pasqua: 9th of April 2023): this is the second Sunday of Easter, celebrates Jesus’ resurrection and families enjoy a feast that includes meat and eggs after abstaining for 40 days (these 40 days are called la Quaresma). On this day godfathers and godmothers also bring their godsons and goddaughters a Mona de Pasqua: a traditional cake decorated with chocolate eggs or figures.
A fun fact is that for centuries these cakes were decorated with boiled eggs before changing them into chocolate eggs. Now you can find any chocolate figure cake you can imagine.
Bunyols de Quaresma are another sweet treat that we eat during Easter time.
Tips when visiting Barcelona on Easter
- Remember that Good Friday (7th of April 2023) and Easter Monday (9th of April 2023) are bank holidays in Catalonia, so you will find many shops closed as well as on Sundays.
- Monuments and attractions are all open. However, I recommend you to check the official websites of the ones you are interested in case they have any change in their schedules.
- If you already know which monuments and attractions you want to visit during your stay in Barcelona, in order to avoid huge lines I recommend you book the tickets in advance. There will be many visitors and locals we have holidays so the city is packed those days.
Tell me, are you planning to visit Barcelona this Easter? Did you know about all of these traditions?