3 Barcelona barrio fiestas to visit this August
As we have covered in this article already, the barrio fiestas that happen in Barcelona are one of the most exciting things to stumble upon as an Erasmus student. They truly show you aspects of the Catalan culture you can’t find anywhere else, at least in the centre. August is a very good month to do a little fiesta-hopping, as it is full of them. Especially during the third and fourth weeks of the month. Here we have a list of the most famous Barcelona barrio fiestas, so you can get a chance to visit them all while staying in the city.
Fiesta Mayor de Gràcia
One of the biggest Barcelona barrio fiestas is the Fiesta Mayor de Grácia, taking place on the 15th of August. It falls on the same day as the Christian celebration of the Assumption of Mary. In this way, it is deeply connected to the Christian Catholic religion. During the celebrations, all the streets, balconies and little corners of Villa de Gracia are decorated by groups of neighbours. There are many community dinners, dances and singing.
The greatest thing to watch during the Fiesta Mayor de Gracia is the correfoc. It is a cultural manifestation, where people dress up as monsters or demons and parade around the streets, dancing, singing and jumping over various fireworks. There is also a child correfoc, that happens a few hours before. Also, for those interested in the history of the city of Barcelona, during the third or fourth day of the festival, there is a theatrical act. It has narrative parts as well as singing and dancing ones, that explain the history of Villa de Gracia and how it became a part of the city.
Festa major de Sants
The Fiesta Mayor de Sants is also a big celebration for the Sants neighbourhood, happening on the 24th of August. The festival is held in honour of Sant Bartomeu, the patron saint of the village. According to Barcelona’s legend, the martyr lived in Sants and was flayed for his faith. That is probably why he is the patron saint of leather-related professionals like skinners, curers and tanners. As we mentioned in the other fiestas, the gigantes, the demons and the castellers, are important figures that couldn’t be absent from the celebration.
Pay attention in order not to miss the bastoners, dancers that have intricate choreographies in the streets while using big sticks as props. Also the castellers, people who create human towers, stacked the one on top of each other. Sounds impressive, right? Close to the end of the festival, there is also a scavenger hunt which has a lot of elements of the neighbourhood’s popular culture.
Fiestas de la Mercè
Last but definitely not least, the fiestas de la Mercé are one of the most popular Barcelona barrio fiestas. It is also one of the greatest street parties in the city. The festival lasts for about 5 days, in the last week of September. Mare de Deu de la Mercè is the official patron saint of Barcelona, so it makes sense that the fiesta dedicated to her would be a huge spectacle for locals and tourists as well.
As always, there are the two correfocs, with a lot of sparklers to illuminate the celebration nights. As usual, human towers, the dances of the gigantes, as well as projections on the building in Placa Jaume make the evening great. Make sure not to miss it, as it is the festival that truly shows the Catalan spirit of the city of Barcelona.