If there is one big Festival in Barcelona’s heart it is La Mercè Festival. It is the largest festival in Barcelona, taking place each year at the end of September. So you can finish the Barcelona summer properly. La Mercè is an authentic and old celebration in the Catalan capital. According to legend, on 24 September 1218, Our Lady of Mercy – La Mercè – appeared before King James I and Saint Peter Nolasco, ordering them to found the Mercedarian Order to free the faithful who were prisoners of the Saracens. This manifestation of the Virgin was made patron saint of Barcelona later, when, in 1687, the city overcame a terrible plague of locusts after offering up prayers to Her. Nearly two hundred years later, Pope Pius IX officially recognised La Mercè as the city’s patron saint and the people of Barcelona began to celebrate Her feast, though the current format of a festival programme featuring Catalan traditions was not adopted until the late-19th century.
This year, it will begin on the Friday 21st September until Monday 25th. The streets will be filled with hundreds of different activities, events, parades, fire runs (Correfoc), musical performances, sports events and so on. La Mercè festival will give you the opportunity to enjoy the best of Barcelona’s festivity. The organisers claim that “No one interested in plumbing the very soul of Barcelona and Catalonia can afford to miss this festival”
Events include the parade of the giants (giant wooden figures operated by people) accompanied by musicians and fireworks. The human towers, where participants in traditional costume (castellers) climb on top of one another. The tower often reaches around eight levels. It is a must see in Barcelona. The city is full of visitors from all over Spain and Europe, so if you plan to enjoy it we recommend not losing any time to rent an accomodation for your stay.
The entire city joins in the fun of the celebrations on the waterfront and harbour, on Montjuic and in the Parc de la Ciutadella with open air cinema, jazz concerts and other celebrations. Throughout the festival you will have the chance to see the traditional Catalan Sardana dance which is a type of circle dance. This festival will have something for everyone, music, street performances, drama, in thousands of venues across the city. Festivities last all day from the early morning, with the Gralles parade around the streets of the old Barcelona (traditional instruments in the double reed family) waking up the city-folk and inviting them to join in with the celebrations.
Join in the fun with Barcelona’s biggest party of the year.
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