What's on in Barcelona
Sant Jordi (St George's Day)
St George is the patron saint of Catalonia, and on the 23rd you will find people selling roses on literally every street corner, and bookstalls set up with roughly the same frequency.
As a gentleman you are supposed to give your lady a rose, the rose being said to have sprung from where the dragon's blood fell; as a lady you are supposed to give your knight-in-shining-armour a book. The book comes either (a) from the fact that April 23rd also happens to be the date of the deaths of both Shakespeare and Cervantes and (b) is thus World Book Day or (c) from the fact that it's a golden opportunity to flog some books.
It has become a little commercialised, but it's still a cute tradition and, to judge from the throngs on the Ramblas, a very popular one.
Among other concerts coming up, we have Joan Baez (Palau de la Música, March 19 and 20); Luz Casal (Liceu, March 20); Buzzcocks (Apolo, March 24); Robbie Williams (Palau Sant Jordi, March 27); Kraftwerk (Liceu, April 22); Roxette (Sant Jordi Club, May 14); Nick Cave (Auditori Fòrum, May 21); Primavera Sound Festival (Parc del Fòrum, May 27-30); AC/DC (Estadi Olímpic May 29); Maroon 5, (Palau Sant Jordi, June 14); Ariana Grande (Palau Sant Jordi, June 16); Sónar Festival (June 18-20); KISS (Palau Sant Jordi, June 21); Mark Knopfler (Poble Espanyol, July 31); U2 (Palau Sant Jordi, October 5 and 6).
There's also the Festival de Pedralbes (June 8-July 9), in the lovely gardens of the Palau Reial, with people like Pet Shop Boys (June 8); Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel (June 14); Spandau Ballet (June 20); Bob Dylan (July 4).
And, finally, celebrating its seventh anniversary this summer, we have the Cruïlla Barcelona festival (July 10-12), with conterts by Damian Marley, Of Monsters and Men, Capital Cities, Asaf Avidan & Band, The Cat Empire, Caravan Palace and O Rappa.
Last time we looked, some of the above were already sold out (unless you think a €423 VIP seat for Robbie Williams is a bargain!)
For what is on in the way of classical music, opera and the like, see what's on at the Palau de la Musica and the Liceu Opera House (two places well worth visiting for their architecture, even if you are not that keen on that sort of music). Tickets for these can be obtained from ServiCaixa (see below)
Classical music is also on at the Auditori, home to Barcelona's Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC). Tickets for this can be obtained from Telentrada (see below).
ServiCaixa is one of best sources of tickets for concerts and other events in Barcelona, being run by La Caixa, the city's major bank. Tickets can be bought online or at cashpoints throughout the city.
Telentrada is the online ticket service from rival bank Caixa de Catalunya.
Tickets for many concerts can also be purchased at FNAC.
For football fans, one of the big attractions of Barcelona is its world famous club, Barça [website], with a visit to its stadium (preferably to actually see a game) high on your to-do list.
Next chance to see if Luis Suarez will actually bite anyone else is the big one, Barça vs Real Madrid (March 22), with Almería the next visitors after that (April 8).
In the Quarter Finals of the Champions, it's Barça vs PSG, with the first leg in Paris (April 15), the return in Barcelona (April 21). Sandwiched between those two ties, in La Liga it will be Barça vs Valencia (April 19).
A visit to the Barça museum includes a look inside the stadium itself, one the world's biggest.
Espanyol [website], Barcelona's "other" first division side play in a new stadium out in Cornellà (to get there, take the FGC train line from Plaza Espanya and get off at either Cornellà-Riera or Almeda).
Your next chance to see Espanyol at home is the Spanish League game Espanyol vs Atletico Madrid (March 14), with the next home game after that not until the Espanyol vs Elche game (April 6).
For utterly one-eyed reporting, see our Newspapers page.
See also our Barcelona Sports page.
For non-football fans, it's frankly hard to understand quite what all the fuss is about.