Sagrada Família invites citizens to feel the spirit of Christmas - Sagrada Família invites citizens to feel the spirit of Christmas
This year, the Basilica is offering several activities and events for all audiences, inviting everyone to join in the spirit of Christmas and share in the joy of these special days.
This year is the 800th anniversary of the first crèche and the perfect time to look at the origins and meaning behind this tradition, which Gaudí honoured on the Nativity façade with a Nativity scene carved in stone. So, some of this year’s activities aim to take us deeper into this topic.
CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS WORKSHOP
Once again this year, the Sagrada Família is offering a Christmas workshop for kids aged 6 to 12. With this activity, the little ones will be able to experience the Christmas spirit at the Basilica.
The workshop includes a guided tour with one of the most loveable figures from the crèche. The children will have fun on a treasure hunt that will teach them more about the Nativity façade, where Gaudí explained the moment Jesus came into the world.
Then, they will do a handicraft workshop and make a pop-up Christmas card to add to their Christmas decorations at home.
Check out the times, languages and price of the sessions on https://sagradafamilia.org/en/christmas.
On Thursday 14 December at 7:00 pm, the Basilica will fill with music and Christmas spirit with the traditional Christmas Concert. There will be several choirs, mixed and children’s, with a symphonic orchestra and audience participation.
The concert will feature choirs from Agrupació Cor Madrigal, with children’s choirs from all over Catalonia and choirs from the Sagrada Família neighbourhood, including groups from the municipal music schools in the Eixample and Sant Andreu districts. They will be accompanied by Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès conducted by Pere Lluís Biosca with Joan Seguí on the organ, performing a selection from Benjamin Britten’s Saint Nicolas cantata, Rafael Ferrer i Fitó’s Una nit de nadal and El noi de la mare, arranged by Bernat Vivancos. It will also include the debut performance of a Christmas piece composed by Antoni Ros Marbà.
As we do every Christmas, the Sagrada Família held a draw to give out 350 tickets for two to this traditional concert. To enter, anyone interested just had to fill in the form on the link on the Sagrada Família website or social media between 27 November at 10:00 am and 4 December at 10:00 am. The draw was held on Monday 4 December and the winners received an email with instructions on how to use their tickets.
You can stream the concert here.
CAROLLING ON THE NATIVITY FAÇADE
On Tuesday 19 December at 6:30 pm, the Sagrada Família will host a carolling session on Carrer de la Marina, in front of the Nativity façade, with the children’s choirs and musicians from neighbourhood choirs from the Raval district.
KorraVal Evolution, Dona Gospel, Cor de Dones de Xamfrà, Món Raval, Girasol, Cor Turull, Cor Drassanes, Cor Kudyapi, Les Flors de Maig, TrencaCors and Musicals’ Choir will offer a repertoire of traditional Christmas carols from Catalonia and around the world. And to finish off the carolling, they will all sing a very special carol together.
This event is free of charge and open to all.
ILLUMINATION OF SCULPTURE GROUPS ON NATIVITY FAÇADE
For the 800th anniversary of the first crèche, the Sagrada Família wants to celebrate the occasion by illuminating the Nativity façade and bringing to life the Nativity scenes sculpted in stone that Gaudí designed for this façade. In chronological order, the various sculpture groups of the Nativity, the Adoration of the shepherds and the Adoration of the Magi will be lit up, accompanied by music and narration.
You can watch it from Carrer de la Marina on 20, 21 and 22 December. There will be sessions lasting between 10 and 12 minutes, narrated in Spanish and Catalan. On 20 December, the sessions will be held from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm and on 21 and 22 December, from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
Once again this year, on 24 December at 7:00 pm, the Sagrada Família will host a Midnight mass for the little ones to celebrate Christmas. The ceremony will be led by Mons. David Abadias, Auxiliary Bishop of Barcelona, and afterwards mass-goers will go outside for the adoration of the Baby Jesus on the Nativity façade.
There is no charge for attending Midnight mass but capacity is limited.
For the second year in a row, the Sagrada Família will take part in the Festival de la Infància (Children’s Festival) taking place from 27 to 31 December at the Fira de Barcelona Montjuïc fairgrounds. In this case, the workshop “We’re building the towers. Want to help?” will focus on the central towers and show the kids what the tower of Jesus Christ will look like inside. The children get to be builders for the day, making a replica of their favourite tower of the Evangelists to take home.
This activity is designed for kids aged 6 and up. The workshop is included with tickets to the Festival de la Infància, which are available here: https://festivalinfancia.com/.
In addition to the Christmas events and activities, every day from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, the four towers of the Evangelists, blessed on 12 November, and the star on the tower of the Virgin Mary will be lit up.