Barcelona is a city with a lot of tradition and celebrates a great number of fiestas, some are catalan traditions, some are traditions of the city of Barcelona and others are quarter traditions. Each quarter (barrio) celebrates its own festival every year with music, dance and eating and drinking in the streets. During the fiestas and its events it is possible to get to know some of the catalan traditiones like tradicional dances, “correfocs” (fire-race), “trabucaires” (bandits with guns), gigantes (giants) y cabezudos (figures with big heads.). We offer here information about the public holidays and some of the most famous local celebrations of the city.
1st of January (Año nuevo)
5th of January On the eve of January 5th the Three Kings (Melchor, Gaspar y Baltasar) arrive with their court to Barcelona by ship. The Three Kings start their parade in the harbour (the route varies every year) and a lot of people (adults and especially children) are waiting in the streets for them to pass by in their carriages.
6th of January Three Kings (Reyes Magos).
The carnival is celebrated with parades all over the city. The quarters (barrios) prepare parades and invite to dance during their parades.
This feast of a Saint (Sant Medir) is held in the Gràcia quarter with thousands of sweets, which are thrown to the crowd during the parade and it enjoys children as well as adults.
March or April Eastern Friday (Viernes Santo)
March or April Eastern Monday The Resurrection
(Pascua Florida o de Resurrección).
23th of April The Dia de Sant Jordi (Saint George), also known as the day of the rose and the book was declared by the UNESCO in 1995 the international day of the book. The origin is a catalan legend, where the knight (caballero) saved a village from a terrible dragon. It is a very nice local festival and there are stands in the streets all over the city selling roses and books.
1st of May International Workers’ Day
May, Monday the holiday celebrated the day after Pentecost.
23th-25th of june
In the eve of Saint John’s day (San Juan), the shortest night of the year (solstice) is celebrated with bon-fires and fireworks in the streets and on the beaches. The celebrations go on the whole night and a lot of people are waiting for the sunrise on the beaches.
The end of June and during the month of July. The summer festival on Barcelona is the Grec festival. It offers open air concerts, dance performances and theatre all over the city. One of the special places of the festival is the Grec Theatre on the Montjuïc mountain.
15th of August Feast of the Assumption (Asunción de la Virgen).
Around the 15th of August starts the Fiesta Mayor de Gracia, this celebration lasts one week with music and dancing on the street all over the barrio. The neighbours of the Gracia quarter decorate the streets with a lot of imagination competing for the prize for the best-decorated street.
11th of September The National Day of Catalonia
24th of September La Fiesta de la Mercè, festival of La Mercè, patroness of Barcelona. With this festival the autumn starts with a lot of celebrations, performances, music and sports events. The festival takes place in many parts of the city during 3 days.
12th of october Fiesta de la Hispanidad
1st of november All Saints Day (Todos los Santos)
6th of december Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución)
8th of december Feast of the Immaculate Conception
25th of december Christmas Day (Navidad)
26th of december Saint Stephen’s Day (San Esteban)
During the month of december there are expositiones of christmas cribs and other Christmas decoration. There is a fair of belenes around the cathedral with artisan works for sale as well as Christmas trees and decorations.
31st of december New Years Night (Noche Vieja). In the night of the 31st of december there are parties all over the city. A lot of people get together on the Plaça Catalunya to welcome the New Year. Everyone that night all over Spain carries 12 grapes for the last 12 seconds of the year and you have to eat each second a grape for the next 12 months of good luck.