Festa Major de Gràcia
Festa Major de Gràcia is one of the most fun neighbourhood parties to attend in August. The festival always starts on the 15th of August and will last for seven days. Everyday the festivities will start around 14.00 and will end late in the night. During the festival all of the streets are decorated to a certain theme. And if your street is the prettiest you can even win a prize. Besides the beautifully decorated streets there will be a lot of parades for you to see.
The neighbourhood Gràcia
Gràcia is one of Barcelona’s most beautiful neighbourhoods. The neighbourhood has a “small town” feeling, although it is rather big. It is a melting pot of bohemian lifestyle and hippy culture. One of the most known things about Gràcia are the plazas, there are a lot of them in the neighbourhood. The most central one is Plaça del Sol. Here you can find a lot of street artists, musicians, and trendy bars. Placa de la Villa de Gràcia is a more family friendly square with a beautiful clock tower in the middle. Here you can also find a lot of restaurants and cute little bars. Gràcia is also known for the very famous Park Güell. Visiting the park feels like stepping into a fairy tale. Be aware that it is very easy to get lost in Gràcia because of the narrow streets, even the locals sometimes get lost.
Decorating the streets
One of the main attractions during Feste Major de Gràcia are all of the decorated streets. Not only the are the streets decorated but also the squares and balcony’s. The residents of the street work together to create the best result. And each street can pick their own theme. It’s possible that you walk from an underwater world right into a safari. We advice you to take enough time out of your day to look at all of the streets individually and take it all in. Carrer de Joan Blanques and Carrer de Verdi are the streets that normally win. Make sure to visit them if you don’t have all day. You can walk on your own threw the streets but you can also book a tour. The tours aren’t expensive and will give you some background information. But we advice you to just wonder around by yourself.
The streets and squares aren’t the only things that are decorated beautifully, there are also a lot of pretty parades to watch. In the parades you can see a lot of things that are connected to Barcelona. At some parades you will see some giants walking along. They stand for important people in the history of Barcelona. You will also see some big dragons, they are a symbol of the city. Besides dragons and giants you might see some devils with fire, dancers and of course some music. The Correfoc is one of the most special parades during Festa Major de Gràcia. The main theme of this parade is fire and there is a lot of it. So, be aware of this and don’t stand too close to the parade. Maybe even put on long sleeves and a cap, just to be safe.
During the festival you can some towers being build, and we don’t mean the regular ones. These towers are made out of humans. This is typical Catalan tradition, people climb on top of each other to create a high tower. And if you were thinking that was it, you are wrong. Not only do they build pretty high towers out of people they also move them from one square to another whilst staying in position. Some might think this is pretty dangerous, but don’t worry they are trained for years. The people that build these type of towers are called ‘Castellers’. And it is an honour to be part of this tradition.
How to get there
Because the festival takes place all around the neighbourhood of Gràcia there are a lot of ways you can get there. The neighbouring districts are: El Farró, Eixample district, Can Baro, and El Baro. You can just walk from one district to another. The Eixample district is also one of the most beautiful in Barcelona. You can of course take the metro. If you do take the metro, line 3 and 5 are the best. And the best stops to get out are Fontana and Diagaonal. Prefer walking? No problem, from the city centre it will take you about 20 minutes. At night there will be busses every 10 minutes. And on the opening night the public transportation will be open the whole night.