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Every March, the children of Barcelona enjoy one of the "sweetest" festivals of the city. The streets and squares of the charming district of Gràcia become a festival of sweets, bands and horse carriages. This is the Sant Medir Festival and according to tradition originates from the Saint who lived in the year 303 in Barcelona under the Roman rule of Diocletian, who intensely persecuted Christians. According to legend, Sant Medir's beans grew immediately after they were planted and for this he was taken prisoner. A hermitage was built where the Saint lived to mark the starting point of the pilgrimage. In 1830, a baker from the district of Gràcia made a pilgrimage to the hermitage on his Saint's Day to thank the Saint for a honoured promise. Today, this pilgrimage has become a popular tradition with the participation of many groups of "colles" from the districts of Gràcia, Sarrià and Sants. Each year, on 3rd March, the pilgrims parade all day through the streets of Gràcia and in the afternoon a spectacular parade is held on the Gran de Gràcia street, handing out sweets to all participants.
Celebrate the traditional Catalan fiestas with wine and cava at the Mirador de Colom Enotourism and Wine Information Center. Come to the monument and do a wine or cava tasting accompanied by a variety of sweet specialities such as 'panellets' (a typical almond and pine nut cookie eaten around All Saints Day), Christmas 'turróns' and the traditional 'tortell', a ring-shaped pastry decorated with candied fruit and eaten on Twelfth Night or Three Kings Day.
Come and enjoy the sweetest of experiences at the Mirador de Colom!
Carnival, a festivity based on the lunar calendar and eagerly anticipated by Catalans, always begins on a Thursday (Fat Thursday) and ends on the following Wednesday (Ash Wednesday).
Carnival is synonymous with partying, bustling crowds, costumes, parades and so on. In short, it is a week given over to hedonism and having a good time being the forerunner to the period of fasting and deprivation represented by the Christian tradition of Lent. These days, beyond the excesses, Carnival is a light-hearted popular festival based around the crazy figure named El Rei Carnestoltes (The Carnival King). While carnival is celebrated in almost every town and village throughout Catalonia, the places that historically stand out for their particular traditions are Barcelona, Sitges, Vilanova i la Geltrú and Torelló. However, wherever you may be during the festivities, you will be able to try some of the delicious traditional Carnival dishes: the coca de llardons (flatbread with pancetta) or botifarra d'ou (pork sausage containing egg).
Barcelona Carnival: The official dates for this year are 20/2 to 26/2. The Rei Carnestoltes arrives in the Passeig del Born with his entourage comprising seven ambassadors who symbolize the seven historical towns within the city (Horta, Sant Andreu, Sarrià, Gràcia, Sants, les Corts and Sant Martí). There are also further parades that take place in different places throughout the city. Carnival is also evident in the markets of Barcelona which are full of people letting their hair down, costumes, tastings and a frenetic rhythm. On Sunday night you can experience the wild party known as the "gran sarao".
Sitges: The Carnival King arrives in Sitges at 19:00 on 20 February. From that point on you can join the parade. Throughout the whole weekend there are a range of activities to suit any and every audience: concerts, cookery demonstrations, races using decorated beds and costumes, lots and lots of costumes.
Torelló: This town in the Barcelona county of Osona has its own name for the Carnival: the Carnaval de Terra Endins (the inland carnival). The Carnival King bursts into a council session being held in the City Hall, relieves the mayor of his duties and takes over for seven days. The parade held in Torelló is a participative one in which anybody can join in and which includes all kinds of representations of mythical beasts.
Vilanova i la Geltrú: In this municipality of the Garraf region (Barcelona), the carnival is organized by the local community and always includes a high level of social comment. The most meaningful event for them is Les Comparses (carnival troupe) in which more than 10,000 pairs of comparseros take to the streets accompanied by charanga brass bands, while throwing candy to the crowds.
The 62st Edition Internacional Vintage Car Rally Barcelona - Sitges will take place from 21 to 23 March.The Barcelona-Sitges Vintage Car Rally was first held in 1959 as an initiative of the Sitges Tourist Board. The rally was created in order to give the town a social event it could take part in during the winter months and to fulfil the wishes of many vintage car aficionados who wanted to take part in an event of this kind and enjoy their vehicles.
Vintage Car Rally Barcelona-Sitges is an event with characteristics that makes it unique in the world and once again the Promotion of Tourism in Sitges, organized with the full consciousness of the effort and pride represented by participants to be on the lists of registered. In fact it is a unique not only for its competitive nature, but also the spectacular cars participants. It seems that back to the early twentieth century when the vehicle he was in was a pleasure and a recreation and why not say it, a luxury. Again, a caravan of historic cars , all manufactured before 1928 will forty kilometers separating the two municipalities sailors, a test that are especially valued and aesthetic aspects of time and speed.
In the days leading up to Holy Week, Catalonia's patisseries always put on a delicious and original shop window display: cakes and figures made of chocolate, some in such complex detail that they could be easily be termed works of art. This typically Catalan and Valencian tradition is known as the "Mona de Pascua" (the Easter 'Mona'). Mona is the Spanish word for female monkey but, in this context, the term derives from the Arabic word "munna", which loosely means "a treat for your mouth", a gift in the form of a sweet confection that the Moors would give to their overlords to celebrate the end of Lent. Catholic tradition involves godfathers giving the 'mona' to their godchildren on Easter Sunday, although the correct day to enjoy them is on Easter Monday, which is a public holiday in Catalonia, when families come together to eat the 'mona' as their dessert. You can taste this exquisite tradition at the Mirador de Colón.
Winter in Catalonia has a lot to offer, and one of the tastiest things about it is undoubtedly the arrival of "calçots" (spring onions) season. This type of onion is a gastronomic pleasure that focuses its production on the area of the Camp de Tarragona but manages to makes it into every restaurant in the country. Eating them is a ritual in itself, which includes grilling them using a brick tile where the calçots are roasted, they are then wrapped up with newspaper and are paired with a magnificent sauce called romesco, which has hazelnuts, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, peppers, garlic and tomato. The calçots should be dipped in the sauce and in order to avoid staining your clothes, everyone usually wears a big bib that also adds to the festive and fun atmosphere of a calçotada. There are lots of restaurants in Barcelona that include them in their menus, such as Mussol, Can Vador and Can Travi Nou, and certain wineries such as Sumarroca or in an open-air architectural museum like the Poble Espanyol also offer them to their visitors.
There are two official languages in Catalonia: Catalan and Spanish, and there are more and more people in the region who understand and speak English. You’re sure to get by.
One of the symbols of Barcelona, a meeting place for locals and visitors alike where people also flock to celebrate the victories of the Catalan team, Futbol Club Barcelona, Barça. The Canaletes Fountain has become one of Barcelona's most visited landmarks.
The Fossar de les Moreres is a place of great symbolic significance where the weight of history takes centre stage. Here, right in the centre of the Born neighbourhood, was the site of the graveyard for the fallen during the 1714 Siege of Barcelona. A monument stands on the site as a reminder. The place sometimes goes unnoticed by visitors. For the Catalans, the fossar is more than a memory. It is a homage.
As a large metropolis, Barcelona receives the very best of the products that are cultivated, fished, reared, hunted or collected in Catalonia.
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