Gracia Festival (Festa Major de Gràcia) is returning to Barcelona this August!
Did you know that the Gracia Festival has been happening for over 200 years? Well, now you do! This year will mark the 202nd edition of Barcelona’s Festa Major de Gràcia! Every August in Barcelona, the beautiful district of Gracia hosts a street festival which lasts an entire week! During this week of partying, the residents of Gracia neighborhood have a lot of fun decorating the street of their district. The first celebration happened in 1817. This year, the festival will take place from Thursday 15th of August until Wednesday 21st of August 2019 in Gracia, Barcelona. Gracia is a very nice neighborhood: it has a pretty chill, laid-back atmosphere but it’s also a very lively and dynamic district too!
The history of Festa Major de Gràcia
First, let’s talk a little bit about the history of this festival. The first time that the Festa Major de Gràcia was mentioned, it was in a book “Muralles Enllà” by historian Francesc Curet. In his book, he mentions the first celebration of Gracia which apparently happened on August 15th, 1817. This day was celebrated because it’s the day when the image of the Virgin of the Masia of Can Trilla was returned to its altar. (The image of the Virgin had been removed from its altar for fear that the image would be destroyed during the French war.) When the image was finally returned to its altar in 1817, the villagers celebrated the event with dances and snacks as well as street decorations. They also decided to celebrate this day each year on August 15th and as the years passed by, the celebrations got bigger and longer: today the celebration is a weeklong festival taking place in the neighborhood of Gracia.
What happens during the Festa Major de Gràcia?
The main thing happening during Gracia’s magnificent festival is the street decorations competition. The residents of the Gracia district get to decorate around 25 streets in their neighborhood as part of a competition. The residents decorate their streets and then compete to win the title of the “best-decorated street”. The competition is usually pretty tight! Each street gets to choose a theme and the decorations will have to be linked to the chosen theme. There is so much creativity that comes out of these decorations, you just have to see it for yourself! During the festival, the streets of Gracia are soooo beautiful. Really, you have to trust us and make the detour, it’ll be worth your time for sure! Check out this video from last year’s edition!
Many people believe that this very colorful festival is the best local street festival in Barcelona. The festival has even become a significant tradition in Barcelona. It’s the most popular and the most colorful festival in the city! The festival is famous for its hospitality, for its very welcoming atmosphere. The residents of Gracia welcome visitors and tourists in their neighborhood with open arms, this is one of the reasons which makes the Gracia Festival so special!
In addition to this, you’ll find many street stalls selling food during the day. You’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy live music through concerts from different artists and many other activities for kids, families, friends, for everyone really. Don’t forget to check the official program of the festival a few days before the event so that you’re fully aware of all the festivities!
How to get there?
The Gracia Festival will occur in the neighborhood of Gracia, Barcelona. You can take the metro, the Green Line (L3) and stop at the metro station Fontana. This way, you’ll arrive right at the center of the Gracia district!