Barcelona is proud to celebrate the Fiestas de la Merce from 22nd September to 25th September, this popular festival is held every year and the city is completely transformed attracting thousands of visitors from all across the world. The festival is held to commemorate the Patron Saint of Barcelona, La Mare de Deu la Merce on September 24th, bank holiday in the catalan capital. Fiestas de la Merce in Barcelona officially started in 1902 to welcome the autumn season. Today, the celebration not only brings the people of Barcelona together, but unites spectators from all around the world.
Fiestas de la Mercè’ Specials
The Fiestas de la Merce in Barcelona is significant because it showcases the Catalan culture. The festival has everything from music to fireworks to stage performances to human towers. Here are some of the key features of the festival:
- Correfocs (which means “Fire run”): Correfoc is an event where people from Barcelona dress up as the devils and do amazing trick with fire and fireworks. The procession includes dragons, gargoyles and other mythical creatures. It is the night where everything is alive with beautiful display of fire tricks and firework.
Word of caution: Safety is important so spectators should always be on the sideline. Also it is recommended that one wears long-sleeved clothing, pants as well a cap or scarf for protection when attending the Correcfoc. Also there is a special Correfoc for children.
Castellers (“Human Towers”): This tradition originates from Tarragona, the aim is to build huge human towers. The gymnastic skills shown here are amazing to watch! There is also competition between different groups as each group competes with each other to build the highest tower.
Sardanas: This is a famous Catalan dance that is a symbol of their identity and unity. The people dance holding hands together in a circle. The steps of this dance are precise so not just anybody can join in randomly. The music that accompanies the dance is through a selection of brass instruments.
- Giants (“Parade of Giants”): The parade of giants is very popular. You will find giant kings, queens and other nobles marching down the street on the beat of the drums. The giants wear beautiful and bright costumes with huge papier mache’s masks.
The above mentioned events are not the only events that take place. There are also street performances, important international singers and bands concerts and dances going on throughout the four days. The festival is an excellent opportunity to observe the culture of Catalan people and enjoy one of the biggest parties in the world!
Venues and Program
Fiestas de la Merce in Barcelona take place mainly in the city center, Barrio Gótico and the Forum venue in Diagonal Mar.
For further details and programming, check the official website of Fiestas de la Merce in Barcelona.