Have you ever heard about the Merce Festival, the biggest one in Catalonia?
The summer has ended and you are most probably thinking that it’s time to leave all the festivals and parties behind and chill for a bit, right? Well, no. If you forgot, we’ll remind you – Barcelona is not the city where the celebration ever stops. This time it’s the turn of the biggest festival in Catalonia, La Mercè, to take over the city. And you can’t miss it!
La Merce takes place between 22-25 September 2017 offering everyone to attend hundreds of different events happening all over Barcelona. This one of a kind festival brings together locals and tourists to celebrate the Catalan culture. The celebration honors the patron saint of the city, the Virgin of La Mercè.
At the beginning of Middle Ages, Barcelona suffered a plague of locusts and its citizens prayed and asked to The Virgin to help them to fight it. When the epidemic ended, The virgin of Mercé, who protected the city became the patron saint of the city. Since 1902, an annual festival has been celebrated in Catalonia in her honor.
This weekend will be full of events and it may be hard for you to know where to start the celebration. You can check the full program here and choose between the range of different activities : street arts, street processions, concerts, traditional dances, Castellers, Correfoc, Gigantes, the projection shows. Local and international musical concerts are the annual highlights of the program.
Some of the events you must attend:
On Saturday 23rd, the must-visit event is the Correfoc, which literally means “fire-run”. It involves people dressing as devils and other creatures, arm themselves with pitchforks and set off fireworks in the crowd. Although it sounds dangerous, it’s usually safe, as those who come to watch the performance are supposed to come prepared with clothing to protect themselves. The main idea of this is to get as close as possible to the evil creatures and ‘run with the fire. If you are in Barcelona with children, make sure you go to the junior version of Correfoc, as the one for the adults can be very unsafe for the little ones.
The next day, Sunday 24th, you should go see the the Castellers – “castles”. It is a cultural tradition that consists in erecting the human towers, originated in Valls, Tarragona. Get more information about this performance here. Another family-friendly event this Sunday is the Gigantes – a parade of the Giants. It is the procession of the giant imitations of the kings, queens and other nobles around the city. This parade starts at Plaça St Jaume at 11:00. Another event happening at the same square is the projection show. Those who like beautiful visuals should be there in the evening every day during the festival.
The best thing about La Merce is that everything happening during the festival is absolutely free. So, we really advise you to check the program very carefully and have the most out of La Mercè. Have fun this weekend!
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Book yours now and attend one of the most importants festivals of the city!