When it comes to celebrations and festivals, Spain has one of the craziest, greatest, and riotous in the world. There’s a festival for anyone and everyone! Want to have a tomato fight or a wine fight? Join the La Tomatina in Buñol or the La Batalla de Vino in Haro. How about burning giant sculptures to celebrate the city’s patron saint? Just head on over to Valencia for the Las Fallas. But, if you want to celebrate the rich Catalan culture, join the greatest party in Barcelona–the Les Festes de la Mercé!
The Les Festes de la Mercé celebrates the patron saint of Barcelona, the Virgin of Grace, who delivered the town from a plague of locusts terrorizing the town back in 1687. Since then, For three days every year, the festival is filled with modern and traditional activities and events like parades, human towers, circuses, bands, and music both locals and tourists would enjoy.
During the festival, prepare to witness one of the most unique traditions of Catalan. Head on over to the Plaça Sant Jaume to see the towering human towers or castellers. These acrobats assemble themselves to form towers reaching up to 10 people tall!
As origens desta tradição catalã de construção de torres humanas começou numa cidade pequena chamada Valls em 1712. Um "castell" é considerado um sucesso quando a montagem e desmontagem é feita em completa sucessão 😊 Aqui temos Castellers de Vilafranca! 🙌 The origins of this Catalan tradition of building human towers started in a Small town called Valls in 1712. A castell is considered a success when assembly and disassembly can be done in complete succession 😊 Here we have Castellers de Vilafranca! 🙌 . . . #lamerce2017 #ok_catalunya #castellersdevilafranca #igerscastellers #igerscatalonia #igersbarcelona #ig_barcelona #gerador #p3top #gameoftones #click2inspire #igmasters #shooters_pt #oh_mag #killeverygram #olhoportugues #artofvisuals #faded_portugal #faded_world #pontodeinteresse #travelgram #instatravel #exploreandcapture #yoursquarehere #majesticsquares #traveltheworld #travellife #sharetravelpics #worldtravelpics #streetdreamsmag
The human towers aren’t the only things reaching for the sky in this festival. Massive papier-maché giants called ‘gegants i capgrossos’ dance to the tune of the marching bands as they parade around the city.
Goodbye to the summer with bang 💥 and welcome to cooler and colorful month – Autumn 🍁🍂 #lamerce2017 #barcelona #festadelamerce #happyfirstdayoffall #festival #lamercè #marededeudelamerce #patronsaintofbarcelona #fiestamayor #placajaume me #gigantes #giants #parade #gaudi #gaudiart #catalunya #festesdelamercè #mercè17 #24september
Aside from these traditions, modern activities and practices are also observed at the festival. Tons of indie as well as renowned mainstream artists and bands perform at the multiple stages around the city. There are also shows and performances from the circus and other traveling troupes.
On the evening of the last day, all hell breaks loose as the devils (locals dressed as devils, actually) take to the streets for the ‘Carrafoc’ or the fire run. Your mother might have told you not to play with fire, but these devils have no regard for health or safety as they run through the streets carrying sparklers over their head and playing with fire. Firecrackers, loud noises, and the shouts and hoots of the devils fill the streets and the crowds part to give way to the them. It may be dangerous but the sight is spectacular to see!
Afterwards, crowds flock to the Plaza Esperanza for the magnificent fireworks display marking the end of the festival. The sky turns into a canvas as a myriad of colors and light illuminate the night sky.
While you’re in Barcelona, soak up the beautiful gothic and modernist architecture. Enjoy the sights at the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) of the city and the landmarks created by the great architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner during the day.
El Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor de Jesús és una església situada a la muntanya del Tibidabo, a Barcelona, obra de l'arquitecte Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia i finalitzada pel seu fill Josep Maria Sagnier i Vidal. És d'estil historicista que combina elements neobizantinos, neorrománicos i neogóticos. La seva construcció es va perllongar de 1902 a 1961.
And, don’t forget to experience the Barca nightlife that is specially booming during the festival!
Run with the devils and dance with the giants in this fiery and spectacular festival! After all, we all need a bit of fire in our life, don’t we?