The festive cycle in Catalonia includes a mix of pagan, religious and civil celebrations, both of ancestral origin and those that have newly emerged. A calendar of traditional festivals and customs in which the food has a major role.
And one cannot imagine a good celebration without a good meal, a display of collective identity and social cohesion. Each festival is associated with a typical dish, and these include the crema catalana of Sant Josep, the ‘coca’ of Sant Joan, the chestnuts and the buns of All Saints day, Easter cake, or the various Christmas meals (soups, chicken, cannelloni, nougat, wafers, etc.).
In Catalonia, the prohibitions of the Catholic traditions, such as not eating meat during Lent resulted in the popularity of cod-based dishes or desserts such as ‘bunyols’ (sweet fritters). It is also the case that celebrations of religious origin such as the open-air gatherings, the ‘romeries’ and pilgrimages have become collective gastronomical meetings (ribs, roasts, sardines, grilled onions or snails).
The festive calendar also includes more familiar and intimate celebrations related to the cycle of life, such as wedding banquets, chocolate at baptisms, communion snacks and meals to celebrate Saints’ days and anniversaries.