So today marks the beginning of Festa Major de Gracia – an exciting festival in Gracia, Barcelona that is due to run until the 21st August. It’s a festival for the community, which celebrates the town of Gracia and everyone who lives there. But be under no illusion, this is no standard village fete. The festa Major de Gracia is a spectaular festival full of sound and colour that quite literally transforms the village for the entire week.
Today is a local holiday, so everyone can take part in and enjoy the amazing parade that starts off the festival. The streets pulsate with weird and wonderful characters, including gegants (giants), cagrossos (big heads) and dracs (dragons).
Then comes the street decorating competition. Nearly every street in Gracia takes part, with neighbourhoods clubbing together to doll up their street with beautiful sculptures, flowers and decorations.
Every year there is a theme that inspires the festival, and each street works together for months to come up with a concept that will win the coveted top prize. Gracia is turned into a multicoloured wonderland, and is certainly worth a look even if you don’t intend to take part in any of the other festivities.
Although there are some really unusual events that you really should see if you’re about – our personal favourite is the correfoc – which means “fire run”. And yes, it is pretty much what it says on the tin. Dancers dressed as devils dance to infectious drum music and wave pitchforks adorned with sparklers, spitting fire into the crowd. Yes it sounds quite terrifying, but trust us, it’s mighty fun!
Also make sure you check out the colles castelleres, or human towers, where people stand on each other’s shoulders to make towering structures, sometime six or seven ‘storeys’ high!
So if you’re on a Barcelona city break at the moment be sure to venture out to Gracia and check it out! It’s sure to be the experience of a lifetime.