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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 "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.
The Santa Eulàlia Festival, the winter festival of Barcelona, is for all the family. During these magical days, tribute is paid to the brave Laia, the girl who rebelled to defend her aims. For the city of Barcelona, this girl was a symbol of solidarity, in defence of justice and commitment to young people. Santa Eulàlia and la Mare de Déu de la Mercè are co-patron saints of Barcelona. To celebrate this festival, different activities are organized for all the family. You can’t miss the giants, the processions or the firework street run, human towers, sardanas dancing and musical bands throughout different routes of the city, apart from other activities for both young and old.
On 12th February, the Santa Eulàlia feast day, several events are held, such as raising the Penó de Santa Eulàlia (reproduction of an old banner of the city) on the balcony of City Hall, sardanas dancing, giants...
During the weekend of 10th, 11th and 12th February, there is an extensive programme for both young and old to commemorate this festival.
Dates 2023 not yet confirmedThis 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.
Dates 2023 not yet confirmedThe Gastronomy Festival par excellence is celebrating this year a new edition where, for the first time, you will be able to enjoy live music concerts. A major festival of food products and gastronomy, which takes place on the Plaça de les Glòries, is a unique event for enjoying talks, presentations, cooking shows and tastings by professionals and journalists in the world of gastronomy. These are three days in which to discover and enjoy local tapas and dishes prepared by chefs from some of the best restaurants in Catalonia and with sustainability and food reuse as main axes.
The 17th edition of the Barcelona's Modernist Fair will take place on May 19th, 20th and 21st. This year, it is dedicated to the modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, on the 100 anniversary of his death. The fair is included within the district's festival and many cultural and recreational activities for all the family will be organized.
Dates 2023 not yet confirmedThe festival of the Gràcia district is one of the most celebrated festivals during August in Barcelona. It is a popular festival that lasts for several days, with a wide range of activities, such as concerts, workshops and shows. The highlight of the festival is the traditional competition when streets are decorated and compete to achieve first place.
Besides the decorated streets, at the squares you have the option to hear live music, dance and taste typical gastronomy of the city.
The streets of Barcelona welcome Christmas with light and colour. From November, the Christmas spirit will light up until January. The motifs of the lighting are different and varied: you will find traditional lights and also highly innovative compositions which invite you to experience and enjoy what the city is planning for these festivities.
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).
10 districts, 34 venues, five disciplines. The Barcelona Cultural District is a circuit of professional performances but also a program of artistic community project creation. Culture is brought to your doorstep but citizens themselves can also become active cultural agents. Music, theater, dance, circus and audiovisual displays by a wide variety of artists (professionals and amateurs alike) invade city spaces. Other free of charge activities also take place at the same time, such as workshops and talks.
Dates 2023 not yet confirmedBarcelona is once again celebrating its grand festival, in honor of its patron saint. A program full of different activities is planned for all the public, with music, dance, circus and street arts. And not forgetting the giants, dragons, fire beasts, human towers and sardana groups.
La Mercè is also a festival of street arts with the MAC festival, Mercè Arts de Carrer. This is a festival which has become a showcase of new creations, and the meeting place for many artists, both from the city and overseas. The BAM Festival, Barcelona Acció Musical, will fill the streets with today's popular rhythms and concerts.
La Mercè will end, as always, with the traditional fireworks and music display. an explosion of light and sound, which has become one of the most expected and acclaimed events for the people of Barcelona and its visitors.
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