Barcelona is truly a stunning city where there is always something going on, in every neighbourhood, in every street, in every corner. This time Gracia, one of oldest districts of Barcelona, will be cheering up in festival mood. Possibly, the Festa Major de Gracia is the most emblematic local summer festival of the city. Since its inception, this festival is celebrated from 15 to 21 August in the Gracia district. The first day of the festival on 15th August is a public holiday in Spain.
What makes Festa de Gracia so special?
First of all, this festival is a kind of closure to summer and holiday season. During the week of August, the streets of Gracia are blossoming in colours and rich patterns; every street chooses a free theme to decorate the facades and roof. The jury of ´´makeup´´ committee of the festival chooses the most fascinating and spiritual ornaments among the contesters where the winner gets an amount of money to invest in the next edition of the festival. Plus, another interesting point about this holiday, every year more and more streets are competing for, and trying to spread the main Catalan ornaments all around. At last but not least, there is also a public competition held a few months before the festivals starts to select the main poster of the festival.
What to do during Festa Major de Gracia?
It is a festival for everyone, mainly for locals. But interestingly in the recent years, it has been becoming very popular at international level as well; there are people who are visiting Barcelona particularly to attend the festivals. All audiences have a corner in the festival and something to do and enjoy. There are typical Catalan puppet shows, dolls, and other performances for kids in quiet corners. Young people usually enjoy sport activities such as climbing walls, sack race, etc. Of course, eating traditions could not be forgotten; the neighbours are often doing the traditional dishes and invite the attendance to eat on the streets. Food market, cheese and wine tasting, tapas, handmade stuff corner will enchant your appetite and holiday spirit. You will especially discover the group activities which actually symbolizes the unity and strength of the local community. As we´ve mentioned above, this is the festival of music and colours in the streets. The local bands and single performers are usually playing and performing in the Placa de la Vila, which is the common meeting point for festival attendees and Gracia visitors. Here the music for every taste – Catalan rumba, jazz, rock, pop, blues… The concerts are at nights, starting with the late dinner.
Not to forget the parades, where you will see catalan traditional dances, human castle builders and even DRAGONS! Except if you are the Mother of Dragons, don’t wear your favourite clothes for the parade, you might get burnt.
Yet no plan for the next weekend?
If you are thinking of going to the Festa Major de Gracia, don’t make many plans over the week of August 15-21. During the 5 days of the Gracia festival you will experience and discover a lot about Catalan traditions. Check out for the latest agenda of Festa Major de Gracia 2016 and enjoy being in Catalunya: Festa de Gracia Calendar