La Mercè 2016 is Barcelona’s biggest festival

La Mercè, which celebrates the city’s patron saint (the Virgin of Mercy) from the 22nd to 25th of September, is Barcelona’s biggest festival and arguably one of the finest ways to experience Catalan culture. Legend states that a year after saving Barcelona from a plague of locust in 1687, the Virgin of Mercy was canonised and has been celebrated ever since. This spectacular festival, which officially first took place in 1902, marks the end of summer with a series of unmissable events at venues across the city. Here are just some of the festival’s highlights.

  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies of La Mercè

Get into La Mercè spirit at the opening ceremony held at Plaça Sant Jaume where visitors will be treated to a show with giants and monsters dancing on stage. The end of La Mercè is marked by the Piromusical grand finale by the Magic Fountain at the foot of Montjuïc. Piromusical: 25th September, 22:00, Reina Maria Cristina Avenue. 

piromusical- La mercè

  • Castellers

Plaça de Sant Jaume plays host to one of La Mercè’s most popular and impressive events, the Castellers (human towers) in which groups of Castellers compete to build the highest possible human tower, which is subsequently climbed by a child. 24th September 12:30

castellers-la-merce

  • Gegants

Els Gegants (giants parade) is another event ideally pitched for families and features huge effigies of Kings and Queens marching through the streets, often to the sounds of small percussion groups. 24th September 11:00, Plaça de Sant Jaume.

Gegants La Mecè

  • Sardana Dance and Ball de Bastons

No Catalan festival would be complete without Sardana dancing. This traditional dance reflects Catalan unity and pride and can be witnessed in front of the Cathedral on 22nd September at 19,00. Head to Plaça de Sant Jaume on 23rd and you can also witness the Ball de Bastons (stick dance). This folk dance, similar to Morris dancing found in England and Wales, is conducted in row formation with dancers carrying one or two sticks.

Sardanes La Mercè

  • Correfoc for adults and kids

In the evenings, the city is lit up with a famous projection show repeated at various intervals at Plaça de Sant Jaume. One of La Mercè’s most thrilling events is the Correfoc (fire runs). Certainly not for the feint-hearted, the Correfoc features community groups dressed as devils who run the streets of Barcelona with hand-held fireworks and  bangers, accompanied by fire-breathing dragons. If you plan on attending the ‘adult’ Correfoc, held after the more harmless junior event, protective clothing is advisable as some fireworks are hurled directly at the crowds! 25th September,Via Laietana, junior  event 18:30, adult event 20:30 

Correfoc La Merce

You can check the whole program of La Mercè 2016 where you will find hundreds of activities.

If you are planning to come to Barcelona during La Mercè and you are looking for an apartment in Barcelona, do not hesitate to check our website

Enjoy Barcelona!

 

Don’t Miss La Mercè Barcelona

Don’t Miss La Mercè Barcelona

The end of summer in Catalonia is a time for celebration, which has been the tradition since La Mercè Barcelona began back in 1902. Known worldwide as the city’s largest street party, people travel from far and wide to partake in the five days of festivities designed to celebrate Catalan culture and the cooler days ahead. If you have yet to experience the events and energy at La Mercè Barcelona, perhaps this will be your year! Though the official dates have yet to be announced, you can be sure that it will take place around September 24th as it does every year.

La Mercè Barcelona History

Named for the patron saint of Barcelona, Mercè who, as legend has it, blessed the city on many occasions to protect it from wars and plagues, is the cause for celebration when the end of September rolls around each year. At the turn of the century, when pope Pius IX declared the Virgin of Mercy the patron saint of Barcelona, he had many festivities planned in her honor, which were held throughout the city. In 1902 those festivities were organized into an official festival, which has been celebrated each year since, much to the excitement of both Catalonians and the many visitors to our beautiful city.

Top La Mercè Events

  • Castellers – While waltzing down the street during La Mercè Barcelona you may stumble upon a human tower reaching stories above ground! Don’t be alarmed, the Castellers, as they’re called, are well trained performers who aim to show the Catalonia spirit of unity through this performance art. It is a tradition that has been around as long as the festival itself. Head to the Gothic Quarter during the festivities to Plaça de Sant Jaume and you’ll surely catch one of their memorable towers.
  • Correfoc – Known as the procession of the fire-breathing dragons, this event takes place along the Via Laietana as dusk sets in. The dragons, who do indeed breath fire in the form of fireworks and sparklers, are accompanied by scary looking devils and mythical monsters marching through the streets and give everyone a little frightful excitement. If you do plan on attending this wonderful spectacle be sure to wear clothing that you won’t mind being damaged by sparks, as well as glasses or a hat to protect your eyes.
  • Gigantes – Don’t miss this chance to see the Catalan monarchy of old march through the streets. No, not real royalty, but giant costumed performers who dance to the accompaniment of drummers and flutists.

 

 

If you have yet to experience the wonders of La Mercè Barcelona it is nothing short of a once in a lifetime experience. Not only will you get a taste for authentic Catalan culture with some of its rich history mixed in, but September is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful times of year to visit Barcelona. The summer heat is subsiding, while that temperate Mediterranean fall sweeps in for a few months of paradise. This trip could really be a dream come true!