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In the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, there is a basilica dedicated to the Virgin, where a wooden image of her is venerated. Some of the most important features of the festival were introduced in the year 1902, when parades included papier maché “giants” known as gegants i capgrossos and a popular dance from Empordà that was becoming popular throughout Catalonia: the Sardana[citation needed]. A display of teamwork, trust of one's partner and true grit courage. The official date of La Mercè, 24 September, is a public holiday in Barcelona, Spain, and when the holiday falls on or near the weekend, as it does in 2015, most people will take an extra day or two off work and make it into a long weekend – this is known as hacer puente, which literally means ‘making a bridge’. This tradition was enthusiastically adhered to by my lecturers at the University, who informed us that they would be disappearing for several days, so I had no choice but to follow suit and immerse myself in the festivities. Scan or click the QR code and get la Mercè... in your pocket! Our site uses cookies by continuing you agree. [3] Barcelona's metro trains run all night during the festival. The majority of the events and venues are free to enter, and in most places you won’t be restricted to buying food and drink from an overpriced festival bar. Music and images and sound effects turn the town council into a show extravaganza. © Copyright © 1998-2019 Flight Centre (UK) Limited Company Registration No: 2937210Website Development by Umi Digital | Managing Editor Will Jones, You have the right to withdraw your consent to this processing your data at any time. With hundreds of individual events happening all over the city it can be hard to know where to start, so here are a few things to remember if you want to make the most of your time at La Mercè…. Sant Jordi celebration Tick off some of Italy, France and Spain's most famous cities with our 2 week Southern Europe Group Tour! This page with a summary of the program of main events for La Mercè. This event is a world-class fireworks display and marks the end of the La Mercè festival. Watch multicoloured themed projection shows on the town council facade. Dates for bank holidays, festivals and celebrations Time:  22:00. Latest Advice And Updates For Travellers To Barcelona, Dates for bank holidays, festivals and celebrations, Amazing cinematic projects on the town council facade. lània de cultures”, as part of "La Mercè és Música" 20:45 h Pl. The streets go wild with fire crackers, fireworks and devils running the streets of Barcelona. Each person supports the other to create a human tower that can soar up to 10 meters into the sky. A good place to warm up is L’Ovella Negra, a popular student pub near Plaça de Catalunya where you can enjoy cheap and dangerously drinkable sangria. The Gigantes - the giants parade is popular with kids. This is what the town council looks like without the light projections. Since that time, an annual festival has been celebrated in the city in honor of the Virgin. The best place to view the action is along Via Laietana, and it’s up to you how close you want to get; you’re welcome to get involved and run the gauntlet of exploding fireworks, but you do so at your own risk. There are many more other activities going around the city however it is much simpler to plan around these main events and then see what else is going on at the time. I found the best way to cope with this unusual timetable was to fully embrace it, and I grew to quite enjoy having dinner at ten or eleven at night, though admittedly I never really got the hang of the midday siesta. [2], During the week-long festival, close to two million people attend cultural and artistic presentations held throughout the city. Location (Route): La Rambla, Plaça St Jaume, Calle Ferran, La Rambla. A huge sound system was kicking out thumping bass, the seething crowd bouncing up down in the glare of staccato strobe lights, and we stayed well into the night. Date:  Event date not yet confirmed Our website uses cookies. Gràcia street party The castellers, or human pyramids, draw particularly big crowds: get to Plaça Sant Jaume early to grab a good spot from which to view the acrobatic locals building their vertiginous towers, which can reach up to 10 people tall. Make sure you dress appropriately, and cover up as much flesh as you can: long sleeves, protective glasses, a hat and a scarf to tie round your face are all recommended. Just remember that the natives don’t tend to head out until ten or eleven at night, and the clubs don’t really get going until two in the morning, so pacing yourself is crucial! Feast of the Immaculate Conception English Language Program of Main Events For La Mercè Festival in Barcelona 2020. Another venue which frequently set my nights on a dangerous course was Marsella, an atmospheric absinthe bar in the old red light district where Hemingway used to drink. The highlight of my student years was undoubtedly the five months I spent living in Barcelona, and the festival of La Mercè, which coincided with my enrolment at the University, was in many ways my initiation as a temporary citizen of this crazy, cosmopolitan city. Although the actual feast day is September 24, the festivities begin a few days beforehand. Since the transition to democracy in the late 1970s the region has undergone a real renaissance, and La Mercè is a great opportunity to experience some of the idiosyncrasies of Catalan culture. If you’re sizing up the cost of Barcelona’s big summer music festivals, and worrying about your budget, then La Mercè is a great way to experience the unique buzz of Barcelona in full-on festival mode without bankrupting yourself. There’s no real need to learn any Catalan, as everyone speaks Spanish (also referred to as castellano), but it’s worth learning a few words just for the look of confused delight on a Catalan’s face when a guiri (foreigner) manages a few words of their mother tongue. Among more recently introduced traditions are the annual Catalan Wine Fair, a special correfoc, a 10 km race and the pyro-musical, a display featuring synchronized fireworks, water fountains and music conducted at the base of the Montjuïc We have focused only on the main events that are the highlights of the event. We have focused only on the main events that are the highlights of the event. Relations between Catalonia and the Spanish government in Madrid have always been strained, and things reached a nadir under the dictatorship of General Franco, when the Catalan language was banned and many traditions suppressed. In Catalan, the word mercè has meanings related to service, help, a sense of compassion, and loving mercy. Time: 12:00 Noon. This tradition originated at the end of the 18th century in Valls, Province of Tarragona, when rival groups of people called colles began to compete in constructing the different kinds of human towers. One of my favourite Catalan phrases to wheel out at any opportunity was ‘Qui s’aixeca de matí pixa allá on vol’, roughly equivalent to ‘the early bird catches the worm’, and which literally means ‘He who gets up early pisses where he wants’. However, the old town is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to accommodation; Barcelona is a pretty compact city compared to London or Paris, and it’s well connected by a reliable Metro, which runs all night on Saturdays and the La Mercè public holiday. To fight against insects, the Consell de Cent, which then governed the city, voted to ask the Virgin's assistance. We have a dedicated page on the background to Catalan Dancing which you may also find interesting to read before you attend. Join us this summer at their beautiful beach camp in the paradise known as Ibiza! Sant Joan The official date of La Mercè, 24 September, is a public holiday in Barcelona, Spain, and when the holiday falls on or near the weekend, as it does in 2015, most people will take an extra day or two off work and make it into a long weekend – this is known as hacer puente, which literally means ‘making a bridge’. You simply cannot attend La Mercè and miss this event. Giant size characters, dragons and other effigies roam the streets of Barcelona all followed by a procession of drums and percussion instruments. The festival has been celebrated since the Middle Ages when, in 1687, Barcelona suffered a plague of locusts. By using our website you agree to the use of cookies. All entertainment is free. Parade of the fire beasts. One part of the festival that you definitely shouldn’t miss is the correfoc, or ‘fire run’, a parade in which revellers dressed as devils let off a cacophony of fireworks, with scant regard for health and safety. The first summer camp for adults in Europe - A playground for adults. The festival, which officially first took place in 1902, bids goodbye to the summer with a bang and welcomes in the cooler months of autumn. [5], Fiestas of International Tourist Interest of Spain, Fiestas of National Tourist Interest of Spain, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=La_Mercè&oldid=986596048, Articles containing Catalan-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2009, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 1 November 2020, at 20:50. The human towers is an incredible display of teamwork, focus, concentration and courage. It has been an official city holiday since 1871, when the local government first organized a program of special activities to observe the Roman Catholic feast day of Our Lady of Mercy, La Mare de Déu de la Mercè in Catalan. Street theater is a distinct element of the artistic events. Stumbling out of a club as the sun was coming up became a common occurrence during my time in Barcelona, often catching the first Metro at 5 AM and trying to avoid the disapproving stares of the locals on their way to work. Partner with us | Site Map | Contact Us | Our other sites, Copyright © www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/ssi/en/footer.html.

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