Join 2 million people in Barcelona to celebrate the Festes de la Merce, Spain’s largest street fair. Each year the festival invites a guest city to present arts and cultural activities during the four-day festival. This year, France will join Barcelona during 22 September through 25 September 2016.
What is Festes de la Merce?
Festes de la Merce is a festival to celebrate Barcelona’s patron saint, La Mare de Déu de la Mercè. The first festival took place in 1902 and is a continued tradition. Barcelona celebrates with arts, music, parades, and towers of people. Yes, towers made of people!
There are over 600 events every year. Check out the list below for must see attractions.
Castellers are towers made of humans. It is quite the feat for a group of people to build a tower by climbing atop one another. The goal is to have a small child surmount the top and stand upright! This activity draws a large crowd, so arrive early at Plaça de Jaume.
Image Credit: GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Correfoc is known as the fire run, complete with costumes of devils and dragons. The entertainers who weave in and out of the crowds in these costumes will use bangers (these sound like cannons) and fireworks throughout the show. Be sure to keep your distance! Each night will have a parade. The biggest parade of the week is the Correfoc with two events starting at dusk. The first will be the junior event for the children. Later in the night is a parade for adults as the dragons will spew sparkler fire into the crowds. Wear protective hats, glasses, and long sleeves to this event.
The Gigantes, or giants, are paper mache figures that tower above the people. They parade through the festival and delight the children with images of kings, queens, and noblemen.
Guest City Program
Each year, Barcelona invites a nation to join in the festivities. This year, France is represented by collaborators from Paris. French acrobats, artists, and musicians will engage and awe the crowds.
Come Join the Festivities!
Festes de la Merce is an experience of a lifetime! One that should not be missed. Book your apartment early as the city is packed with people from every culture looking to experience Barcelona’s festival of mercy.