When I booked my flight to Barcelona I did not even realize that the dates included being in Spain for the Easter holidays. Bonus. I have never celebrated a holiday in a different country.  My Bucket List has one more check.

Spain celebrates Semana Santa (Holy Week) which includes Good Friday, Sabado de Gloria and Easter Sunday; many retail stores close, locals leave town to celebrate with their families, parades commence and pastry shops line their windows with colorful holiday treats.

My biggest clue that it was Easter in Barcelona were the colorful pastries that lined the shops on every street. Brilliant feathers everywhere…

Many of the pastries look like a large donut with a hard-boiled egg cooked inside, a dessert known as Mona de Pascua. Eggs were used because, traditionally, many Catholics gave them up for lent.

My Italian grandmother used to make the same sort of Easter cake, minus the feathers and in a shape that vaguely resembled a horse. I now wish I could ask her “Why a horse?”, but for some reason I believe it was just her added creativity.

Catering to the children, cakes are adorned with smurfs, Hello Kitty and baby chicks.

These made for the most persuasive window displays. If I could have stuck one in my suitcase for my nieces and nephew, I would have. I could visualize them wide-eyed as I pulled them out of my luggage.

Have you been to Spain for Easter? What is your favorite Spanish pastry?