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La Castanyada is a traditional festival that is deeply rooted in Catalonia and celebrated on 1st November, All Saint's Day. People eat chestnuts – castanyes in Catalan –, panellets - small balls of almond paste coated in pine nuts –, sweet potatoes and other autumnal produce. You can make panellets at home or buy them in the bakeries of Barcelona such as Forn Elies or Forn Mistral.
This public holiday is celebrated with family, friends and even in schools. It is often accompanied by chestnuts and panellets (traditional marzipan cookies) served with sweet dessert wine. Around the time of this celebration, specialist vendors take to the streets to sell their hot freshly-roasted chestnuts.
The Castanyada (Chestnut Festival) and All Saints Day indicate that summer is over and that colder weather is on the way.
A large area, totally free of traffic, with different places to explore, most of them in the open air. That's the Poble Espanyol de Barcelona, an iconic visitor attraction in the heart of Montjuïc. Every weekend, there's a different activity: theatre, dance, music, magic, treasure hunts, etc. Throughout the year there are loads of activities to ensure you have a great day out with the family: Carnival, a Giants' Parade, a Puppet Festival, the Click and Go Fair, the Main Festival, the Medieval Fair, Christmas at the Poble, Halloween... and many more surprises!. In short, a wide range of activities for all the family.
In its eleventh edition, the Barcelona's D'A Film Festival has become in an essential springtime event for the fans of contemporary indie and auteur cinema, both local and from around the globe. Some of the films shown have already won awards at other festivals while many are getting their Spanish premiere. With close to 100 films being presented, one of the highlights of D'A is always the attendance of many of the directors whose works are being shown for round tables and Q&A sessions about their productions.
Barcelona is once again the capital of high-level cruising sailing. Enjoy from the city beaches one of the most exciting international regattas in the world, a sea party where the technique of the crew is the key element to win. Next May, the best cruising boats, both national and international, will be present at the 48th Conde de Godó Sailing Trophy, organized by the Real Club Nàutic de Barcelona.
It is now 15 years since the Palau de la Música Catalana introduced its Cycle of Family Concerts at the Palau, an initiative whose goal is to kindle the passion for and appreciation of music to the youngest members of the household. These are shows conceived and created so that music interacts with other forms of artistic expression such as dance, theater, poetry or the plastic arts, aimed at encouraging the curiosity, imagination and creativity of young and old alike.
As it does every season, L'Auditori is offering a special program for families with children of all ages, so that young and old alike can enter the wonderful world of live music. A wide range of concerts, created for children and designed to make their first musical experience unique and special.
FC Barcelona gets a new season of football underway with its traditional friendly that is named after the club's founder. The Joan Gamper Trophy is played in August, once players return from their summer break, and it provides fans a great opportunity to see some of Barça's new signings in action before the serious business of leagues and competitions begins. It's also a fantastic chance to visit the majestic Camp Nou stadium, Europe's largest and a must-see for any real soccer aficionado; indeed it's one of the most-visited places in Catalonia.
Of all the memorable Catalan traditions, which include 'fire runs' and dancing 'giants', it's arguably the human towers that have the most impact on those watching them. To enjoy a true festival of these castells, head to Vilafranca de Penedès for its annual festa major, from the 29th August to the 2nd September, which commemorates the town's patron Sant Fèlix.
The casteller groups that have more participated in the San Félix Day, August 30, have been els Xiquets de Valls (currently, the Colla Vella and the Colla Joves), the Castellers de Vilafranca and the Minyons de Terrassa. Even so, also has participated els Nens del Vendrell, Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona, els Xicots de Vilafranca, among others. Each human tower is an exemplary example of team work, from the crowd forming the supporting pinya at the bottom via the columns formed as each level rises and culminating with the youngest members of the crew scampering right to the very top to crown the construction, which is officially completed once the smallest of all (l'enxaneta) raises his or her hand. Cue thunderous applause.
This is the main architectural event in Barcelona, a weekend in October where over 200 buildings of every shape and size open their doors to the general public. It is an initiative of the 48h Open House Barcelona association, which began in London in 1992. From then on, the concept of an 'Open House' has been implemented around the world: New York, Dublin, Galway, Tel Aviv and, since 2010, Barcelona, have their own week dedicated to local architecture. 'Open House' offers the opportunity to understand and experience architecture in a unique way, through an architectonic experience.
The program invites everyone to explore and understand the value of a well-constructed and designed space. In the last few years, this event in Barcelona has expanded to include cities and villages from the metropolitan area and the Maresme Coast, and on the roster of buildings to visit we will come across churches, schools, sports centers, apartment blocks, libraries and restaurants.
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