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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.
Dates not yet confirmed.The grape harvest festival is the period during which the tradition of wine producing is celebrated. During the weeks of the harvest, you can find out all about the vineyards, wineries and their wines throughout the various wine production regions of Catalonia. These celebrations give rise to a variety of activities: guided visits of the wineries, getting to know about and taking part in the wine-making process, wine and cava tastings combined with the sampling of delicious locally produced food and other activities. In addition to wine- and food-related activities, you can also enjoy complementary leisure pursuits suitable for any age group or profile.
Event finished. Dates 2023 not yet confirmedThose loud engines are getting ready to rev once more at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Over three days in May, Barcelona hosts the fifth event of this year's F1 Championship Season, the Fórmula 1 Pirelli Gran Premio de España. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest dates on Barcelona's sporting calendar, and an amazing opportunity to see the celebrated drivers and teams taking part in one of the most thrilling sports in the world.
The European Balloon Festival in Igualada is the biggest gathering of hot air balloons in Spain and welcomes around 25,000 visitors over four days the first fortnight of July. It's a meeting point, a competition and a festival in one, with more than 50 balloons taking to the air. Competitive flights take place early in the morning and at dusk, when conditions are ideal, and if you want a taste of the high life, balloon rides can be booked in advance. Fly among a mass of Balloons from several counties of the world.
But there's plenty to enjoy from ground level, whether it's the different skill challenges in the competition, live music, kids' activities and workshops, or the magical Night Glow event, in which balloons are fired up but don't take off, glowing like lanterns and accompanied by a fireworks display.
Every September, the beautiful central Catalan town of Vic hosts an extensive 'market of live music', which this year celebrates its 34th anniversary, aimed at giving both professionals and the public the chance to hear a wide range of different genres and discover new acts, as they enjoy of concerts and related activities. A lot of the focus is on artists from Catalonia, Spain and the Mediterranean area, but musicians from other places can also be found on the programme.
Performances, some of which are free, are given across the city at venues both indoors and out, including the emblematic Plaça Major, and throughout the event the streets are filled with buskers, adding to the musical extravaganza taking place. While there, it's also worth taking the time to explore Vic, a place rich with history, from the Roman temple to the cathedral, ecclesiastical museum, and medieval and modernista buildings. And don't forget to try the local gastronomic speciality, cured meats.
Inaugurated years ago as the world's first film festival dedicated to the fantastic genre, today it's become the region's biggest celebration of the moving image. The picturesque seaside town of Sitges, 30 minutes down the coast from Barcelona, hosts hundreds of films from around the globe, including animation, rom-com and gangster as well as its core themes of gore, horror and fantasy.
Running in parallel to the screenings are exhibitions, master classes and Q&A sessions, special events focused on television series, the chance to see films using virtual reality technology, plus a crowded Zombie Walk through the streets of Sitges.
The Patum de Berga is a truly ancient traditional festival. It is cultural phenomenon that grew out of the theatrical performances that used to accompany the Corpus Christi processions in the Middle Ages. The event is focused on fire, music and a series of symbolic characters. These days, the Patum is as vibrant as ever; to the point it has been declared an event of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. A small square in Berga, not far from Barcelona, concentrates all of the the energy, passion and magic of an unmissable festival.
If you are a motorcycle lover you can't miss the event of the year: the Monster Energy MotoGP Grand Prix. A weekend where world's greatest riders such as Marc Márquez, Joan Mir, or Fabio Quartararo will make your heart vibrate at every turn. Rhythm, strategy, speed and much more at the Catalan MotoGP Grand Prix ™ and the Barcelona-Catalonia Circuit.
There is one day of the year on which it is possible to enjoy sea-based activities in Barcelona in a very special way. And that day of the year is just about to come around. It is called Marina Day, the day on which leisure ports open up to the public for people to enjoy a full day of festivities. Come and enjoy the sea!
Wine and jazz go hand-in-hand at the festival that sublimates both pleasures by pairing wine-tastings with concerts in Vilafranca, the heart of the Penedès region. ViJazz Penedès, which has been going for more than 10 years, features free concerts and the chance to sample more than 300 wines and cavas produced by forty of the Penedès region's best wineries at the wine and cava fair. This year also includes a gastronomic area, with the presence of restaurants in the area, where quality tapas will be offered specifically designed to be accompanied by wines and cavas from the Penedès.
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