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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.
One of Catalonia's most famous traditions is that of the "castells" (castles), which are human towers that are lifted by building different levels of people until reaching insane heights that can go up to ten stories. There is no mechanical help, and tens and even hundreds of people can take part in it. The "castellers" are the people who carry out this activity, which is over 200 years old.
Acknowledged as Immaterial Cultural Heritage by Unesco, his origin is believed to be around the area of Tarragona, Catalonia's second most important province after Barcelona. During the 20th Century this practice spread all over Catalonia. The "castellers" are grouped in "colles" that normally take the name of its place of origin.
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.
This curious tradition is one hundred percent from Barcelona and it takes place on the day of Corpus. As its name suggests, it consists of making an egg "dance" upon the source of the fountains found in cloisters, courtyards or gardens. To ensure that the egg doesn't fall, the "trick" is to put the whole shell of an empty egg. The fountains are decorated with flowers and fruits.
In Barcelona there are several places in which to enjoy the tradition of "L'Ou com balla". Some venues include the Cathedral of Barcelona, Frederic Marès Museum(plaça Sant Iu), Maritime Museum, la Casa de l'Ardiaca (Santa Llúcia, 1), l'Ateneu Barcelonès (Canuda, 6), la parròquia de la Puríssima Concepció (Aragó, 299) or Reial Monestir de Santa Maria de Pedralbes.
The cradle of Catalan culture, amongst many other cultures and civilisations, and a witness to major transformations such as the Industrial Revolution or the Civil War amongst many others, Barcelona has a fascinating history. Find out more about it!
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.
A hotel with views, a tent in a campsite in the countryside, a city-centre apartment… Barcelona offers a wide range of accommodation so that everyone can find their perfect base camp. Here are some great ideas.
Discover the characteristics, charm and the most interesting and attractive places of Barcelona's districts and neighbourhoods!
A tour of Roman Barcelona is a box of surprises containing archaeological remains dating from the time the city was established. Barcino, the Roman city founded in the 1st century BC, has left us a valuable legacy, which can be found in the Gothic Quarter, the site of the early walled city.
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