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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
22nd – 25th September
If you thought the summer season was beginning to wind down in Barcelona and everyone was preparing themselves for la vuelta al cole (that’s going “back to school” to you and I), you might need to see this first.
Where else in the world can you see a dazzling pyrotechnic display on the beach, towering human castles up to nine storeys high (topped by small children – the cherries on the cake), fire-brandishing devils and dancing dragons, and a procession of giants the size of a double decker bus? September in Barcelona can mean only one thing: La Mercè.
Yes, perhaps you are dusting down your office attire but for the fun-loving folk in this city, it’s time for one last summer blowout before going back to the grindstone – until their next excuse to throw a party at Christmas, that is…
The festival was introduced in 1902 when organisers decided that the best of the Festa Majores (parties held in each neighbourhood during the summer) should all be brought together to honour the city’s patron saint, the Mare de Déu de la Mercè. Since then, the occasion has evolved from a religious commemoration into a festive carnival, offering visitors a wonderful excuse to venture into neighbourhoods perhaps not usually explored, as each year sees the festival expand into increasingly unknown parts of the city.
Everything kicks off this year on Plaça Sant Jaume at 9.30pm on 22nd September with the Correfoc (running of the beasts), followed by a magical firework show on Barceloneta Beach at 10pm.
At 6.30pm on Sunday 25th September the show climaxes with an almighty procession of dancing devils and dragons on Via Laietana.