On Friday the 22nd of November, Barcelona’s Mayor officially switched on the Christmas lights and entered into the festive season.
True to Catalan form, things got going in style outside the Sagrada Familia with a gospel choir and Castellers with the nativity façade illuminated in the background. The Christmas lights in Barcelona are now on until the 6th of January.
Proceedings continued within the Sagrada Familia district on nearby Avinguda Gaudi, where Barcelona’s Mayor Xavier Trias presided over switching on a staggering 85km of lights, marking the beginning of the holiday season. Trias noted the importance of the Christmas lights to create happiness even in difficult times of difficulty, referring to the recession.
This year a number of stunning new lighting designs have being created. These can be seen in Passeig de Gràcia, the arc light son Calle Aragó and Gran Vía, and on Calle Balmes sinuous arcs in the shape of a snake wind their way up the street.
The lighting budget this year amounts to two million euros, of which 1.16 million have been provided by the city council and the rest has come from the local business community. Last year Barcelona made an innovative and cost cutting decision to use LED lights, which has never been done on this scale before, and which was repeated this year. As the Mayor highlighted in his opening speech, the Christmas lights in Barcelona are a very important project for the city.