Each year, during one week in mid-August one of Barcelona’s most traditional, vibrant and famous parties takes place. It is known as the Festa Major de Gracia. The neighborhood used to be an independent municipality until it became a part of Barcelona in 1897. Since then it has kept its strong community feel, something that is shown through its avid participation in its annual Festa Major (annual celebration in Catalan).
Festa Major de Gracìa
The event is based on a competition between the streets of the neighborhood in which their decorations are compared. The competition results in a real feast for the eyes with lights, sculptures and a variety of themes chosen by a council formed by residents each street. As you walk through the streets you could be finding yourself taking a trip to Japan, through the laboratory of a mad scientist or even an underwater world! Every street participates and each decoration is more outrageous than the next.
As you walk down the streets and let yourself be transported by the decor, ambiance and festivities, you will notice that locals and tourist mingle. People of all ages can be found enjoying this traditional party. Numerous activities take place throughout the week, ranging from swing classes, expositions, concerts, beer and wine tastings and much more. This is a great way to have a peek into the catalan culture, as many of the activities derive from it. You will also find several stalls with street food and drinks to keep you satisfied.
During the festivities, you will encounter traditional Catalan Castellers. Formed by a team of trained men and women the Castellers put on a show in which they construct a human pyramid or, better said, a human castle. To complete the human tower a young child climbs to the very top and waves to the crowd. This tradition is meant to represent the unity of the Catalan people, though it’s a frightful sight to behold. Teams throughout the city compete with each other to form the highest tower. This tradition has even made it to the list of the Intangible World Heritage by the UNESCO.
Entering the Festa Major in Gracia will cost nothing and activities all remain fairly priced, making it an excellent choice for people with a budget. If you´re interested in renting a flat in Gracia to be in the heart of the action, check out our apartments on Barcelona Home.
For information on the full program of this week festivities, you can click here.