In the previous part we covered Gaudi’s work and masterpieces. For the sequel we will be talking about the festivals which happen every year in Barcelona. The Catalan’s perpetual enthusiasm for festivals and parties means that almost every week in the year has a festival of its own. While some festivals are dedicated to traditions and religion, some are organized simply for having fun. Traditional ingredients like giants, dragons, dwarfs, fireworks , princesses, sultans, freshly backed food such as honey and sausages, and the notorious correfoc and sardana are customary for these events.
The correfoc is a group of pyromaniacs dressed in devils, dragons or spirits who dance on the streets and play with fireworks. They offer a great spectacle, and the more courageous participants can also attempt to touch the fire. On the opposite corner we have the sardana which is the Catalonia’s folk dance. Groups of dancers execute complicated steps and hops in large circles on the street on the rhythm of traditional Spanish music.
- Sónar is one of the most popular music festivals in Barcelona which is very loved by younger people especially for the exhibitions, conferences, sound labs and popular Djs. It starts in the week of June and lasts for three days and three nights. A SonarNight is celebrated by people in shuttle buses which go from the bottom of the La Rambla to the hangars of the Hospitalet.
- On the sacred day of Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia, the streets of Barcelona are ornate with red and golden flags, and bakeries sell St. George breads baked with red sobrassada pate. This festival in particular has deep roots in the Catalonian history, and it is said that dragon’s blood transformed into red roses. The event is a local version of Saint Valentine’s festival. On this day women give men books and men give women roses.
- Revetlla de Sant Joan is the midsummer solstice celebration – on 23 June. This astronomical event is celebrated on 23 June every year with the help of fireworks, song and fun all night long. The huge number of fireworks will probably prevent anyone in the city from sleeping.
- TheFestes de la Mercè is a week-long event which celebrates the patron saint of Barcelona. This is a huge event where giants, dragons and mythical creatures come together in dance. Fireworks, correfocs and sardanes are the highlights of the show. The final parade takes place at the Montjuic Castle, where over 100.000 people gather to enjoy the spectacle. During the festival there are also awesome concerts, seafront air shows, sporting events and a lot of other enjoyable activities. If you wish to visit Barcelona, the Merce Festival is a great time to do so.
- Santa Eulàlia is the winter festival held in honour of Santa Laia which is the capital’s co-patron saint, and protector of the children. The celebrations start with a feast in the Placa Sant Jaume and is followed by parades, traditional music, children choruses and other religious customs. Eulalia is said to have been killed by the Romans after enduring excruciating torture and during the festival her crypt is open to the public
These are only a few of the most popular festivals of Barcelona, there are many other festivals which are also very beautiful. For more information about the Spanish festivals, stay tuned for the sequel.