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Barcelona - Celebrations, Festivals, and Events
Only in Barcelona do centuries-old traditions make perfect sense today. The culture of Catalonia and the urban atmosphere of Barcelona encourage celebrations and awesome annual festivals. Residents are all about celebrating traditions in a festive way and encouraging everyone to join in the fun. From colorful castellers (human castles), crazy carrefocs (fire runs) and an occasional sardana (the traditional circle dance of Catalunya) to awesome fireworks, jazz festivals, techno gatherings, and food fairs, the city celebrates with style. We at Apartments in Barcelona have highlighted some of the best for your perusal.
Santa Eulàlia – A feast day celebration. Each February Barcelona’s co-patron saint -Santa Eulàlia (Saint Laia) is the reason to celebrate. Her feast day is February 12th and the celebrations begin in Plaça Sant Jaume with music, traditional dances (sardanes), a festive parade, and special masses plus music and choral concerts. As an added bonus, day access to Saint Laia’s crypt under the cathedral is free plus more than 30 museums also provide free admission. The festival concludes with traditional evening correfocs (fire fights) happening around the cathedral.
Carnestoltes – Pre-Lent Carnivals. Every barri (area) in the city engages in this centuries-old custom of neighborhood carnivals. Sausages are prepared for Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday brings the burial of sardines.
La Festa de la Guitarra – Enjoy your favorite guitar music. Held from March through May throughout the city this annual guitar festival features a series of venues showcasing Spanish guitar music, flamenco performers, and every style of guitar music from classical and blues to gypsy jazz and electric. (The Project Barcelona. 93 481 70 40 or http://www.theproject.es/)
Festival de la Música Antiga - Barcelona Festival of Early Music. Each spring for almost three decades medieval melodies have enhanced the atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter. During April and May, Caixa Forum organizes workshops and master classes and invites conductors and international musicians to perform at various venues celebrating the historic music and the season. (Caixa Forum Av. Marquès de Comillas 6-8, Barcelona. Tel: 93 476 86 00 or http://www.auditori.org/)
Festival de Flamenco de Ciutat Vella – Festival of Flamenco. Each year during late May and early June in the Old City, the art of Flamenco is celebrated with performances by regional and national artists and supported with workshops, and talks. Organized by Taller de Mùsics, it is held at the Centre de Cultura Contemporànea de Barcelona (CCCB). (Montalegre, 5 - 08001 Barcelona. Tel: 93 306 41 00 or Taller de Mùsics tel: 93 443 43 46)
Festival del Sónar – Electronic concerts by day and by night. This advanced music and multimedia art festival held mid June each year is the biggest and best electronic music event of the year. It includes two distinct experiences, Sónar by Day with concerts, showcases, professional zone, and exhibition area as well as Sónar by Night with headliners from the international electronic music scene. (Palau de la Virreina or http://www.sonar.es/)
Classics als Parcs – Free music in the park. Each summer (late June to early August) Barcelona presents a series of free concerts in some of the city’s most delightful green spaces. No two summers are the same but the benefit is obvious. (Tel: 93 413 24 00)
Festa Major de Gràcia – Mid August festas. Every summer each barri hosts a street celebration. During these neighborhood parties residents compete with decorations judged for creativity and artistic beauty. These unique street events include gegants (huge papier-mâché/fibreglass giants on parade) and castellers (human castles in the street) as well as correfocs and sardanes. The largest of these festas takes place in the old district of Gràcia.
Festa de la Mercé – September honors Our Lady of Mercy. Each fall the seaport celebrates with masses, concerts, music, dance, food, fireworks, and a parade.
Catalan Nadal & Cavalcada de Reis – Christmas and the three kings. In Barcelona the Christmas season begins on the first day of December and concludes with the official arrival of the three kings in January. The season includes fireworks, artisan fairs and plenty of celebrating. The kings officially arrive from the sea and the spectacular Cavalcada de Reis commences.
Note: This information was accurate at time of posting but often organizers change things without notice. Please be sure to confirm details directly with the venues before planning your trip.Copyright 2012.