San Médir 2016 will take place on Thursday, March 3rd in the Vila de Gracia area, which is located within the district of Gràcia in the north of Barcelona. The festival is also known in Catalan as “la festa més Dolça” or, in English, “The Sweetest Festival”, because on this special evening between 60 and 100 tons of sweets are tossed out to crowds during an incredible parade. During this procession around 26 parade groups will march down various streets from historic Gràcia to reach Carrer de Sant Salvador. One there, they will form a procession with horses, carts and lorries. The procession ends at the Jardinets de Gràcia. The evening typically ends with fireworks.
The legend of the “Festa de Sant Médir”
This celebration is a tribute to Sant Médir, a peasant who lived near the present day Sant Médir chapel in the Collserola mountains near Sant Cugat. Legend has it that in the year 303 when Sever, the Bishop of Barcelona, was escaping the city because of the religious persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperor, he passed by Sant Cugat and ran into Médir, who was sowing his broad beans. Sever explained to Médir why he wanted to hide and that he was prepared to die before giving up his Christian faith. Then Sever asked Médir to tell the truth to anyone who asked about him.
Not long after, the Romans met Médir on their quest to find Sever and asked about the Bishop. As instructed, Médir told them the truth and as soon as he did Médir´s broad beans miraculously started to grow. But the Romans, who thought the farmer was somehow deceiving them, captured Médir and shortly after Sever as well. The two were imprisoned and eventually executed. Sant Médir became the patron saint of farmers.
About the modern day festival
The festival started in 1830, when a baker named Josep Videl i Granés fell ill one year. He was from the town of Sant Cugat del Vallès and he promised that if God cured him, he would plan to make an annual pilgrimage to the chapel of San Médir. To announce his pilgrimage he handed out sweets and played music with his drums. Over the years, more people started to join Josep to celebrate.
Nowadays, St. Médir is a very popular and festive celebration in the district of Gràcia. It allows both locals and tourists alike to visit the this artistic neighborhood, characterized by its unique architecture, picturesque plazas and narrow streets lined with boutique shops and international restaurants. It´s also a great activity if you´re visiting Barcelona with children. If you are looking for accommodation in this neighborhood, check out our gorgeous Apartments in Gràcia.