Cataluña is an autonomous community full of traditions and popular parties. It’s possible that in some occasion you have heard the names like correfocs, calçotada or castellers, but… do you know in depth the holidays in which you can enjoy everything about that? In the article of today we want to analyze some of the most important holidays of Cataluña. Take note!
Calçotada de Valls
The first holiday of the year in Cataluña arrives on the first Sunday of January, except for the years that end with a 1, which in that case it moves to the penultimate Sunday given that it coincides with the holiday of the Candela. Focusing on the calçot, a variety of onions, this holiday take place in the catalan locality of Valls.
During this holiday we can find a program centered in the popular enjoyment of activities such as “pasacalles”, multitudinous barbeque of calçots, contests to find out who is able to eat more of this delicious onions or folk dances.
The festivities of San Juan are not something exclusively from Cataluña, but of a lot of places in the country celebrate this holiday in which the fire is the central element. It’s origin is pagan and is related to a cult to the sun and the beginning of the enlargement of the day because of the summer solstice.
Even though it’s celebrated in very different ways, the family reunions and neighbors, usually are a rule in Cataluña, where is tradition to reunite to have dinner, enjoy the music and light up bonfires the night of June 23. Concretely, Barcelona receives the fire of the Canigó on the square of Sant Jaume during the evening, so that following that all the representatives of Barcelona’s neighborhoods take fire that lights the flames of all the city, and it marks the beginning of the verbenas and popular dinners.
Fiesta Mayor de Gracia
The summer is a station of celebration in Cataluña and a proof of this is Fiesta Mayor de Gracia. This holiday is one of the biggest shows of union and popular culture of the autonomous community, given to the participation of all the neighbor associations of the Gracia neighborhood and a special care of the decoration of the streets.
During this celebration there’s a lot of different activities which include dance shows, concerts, workshops or popular food where not only the people from the neighborhood participate, but also all the visitors that want to enjoy the festive environment of Barcelona.
The September 11 of every year is the holiday of the National Day of Cataluña, known also simply as the Diada. It’s the national party of the autonomous community and even it is celebrated in a date of defeat -of the catalan troops against the borbonics in 1714-, what’s true is that it is a day in which Cataluña revendicates its own identity and defends the rights and freedoms.
Every September 11 it takes place a lot of different activities, like floral offerings in monuments to catalan icons, or convocated marches in all Cataluña, besides some concerts and speeches that celebrate a very special day for all the people from Cataluña; they hang from their balconies the striped flag to show their support to the party. Even with the big political weight, the Diada is a celebration where everyone is welcome to enjoy the convocated acts during that day.
The stories say that, in some moment around the year 1678, Barcelona entrusted to the virgin of the Mercé to overcome the plague of locusts that was overwhelming the city. Once it was over, the city council decided to name her patroness of the city, something that pope Pío XII ratified in 1868. 66 years later, in 1902, it took place the first Fiesta Mayor… something that would get to our days with the shape of the nowadays Fiestas de La Mercé.
After this lesson of history, you should know that during the week of September 24 -Festivity of Virgin of La Mercé-, numerous acts are celebrated in honor to the patroness of the city. Barcelona decks up, and numerous public spaces fill with own locals and foreigners willing to enjoy a schedule of castells, correfocs or pasacalles.
Have you missed a party? Don’t worry! Soon, we’ll see in depth the next celebration of Cataluña in the calendar… The castañada!
Meanwhile, don’t forget to get your tickets from Aerobús to get to the airport or Barcelona’s downtown. And overall… enjoy!