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Sant Roc

The festival of Sant Roc has been held in Barcelona since 1589, making it the oldest in the city. The festivities take place on 16th August in front of Barcelona Cathedral. The French saint lived in the 14th century and would have visited the city when he was on a pilgrimage to Rome. He dedicated his life to curing people infected with the plague.

There is an image of Saint Roch in the Plaça de la Catedral, which is the focus of the celebrations held in his honour. Festival highlights include the correfoc, a procession of people dressed up as devils and dragons, spouting fireworks and throwing firecrackers, who dance and jump around. People also release a giant balloon bearing the image of an unpopular personality to shouts of "Out, out!! This entertainment dates from the 19th century and stems from the enthusiasm many locals had at the time for aerostatic balloons. And no celebration would be complete without a sweet treat. To celebrate Sant Roc, people eat panellets, which, despite their name, are nothing like the ones eaten on All Saints' Day. They are shared out during a mass said in honour of Saint Roch.

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