Popular Traditions of Barcelona
Catalonia has managed to maintain many customs and traditions over the years, which are very common in everyday life.
The most important from a tourist point of view are:
Sardanas: Traditional Catalan dance. People meet in front of the cathedral on Sundays to dance it.
Castellers: The "castells" are impressive human towers of up to 9 "floors". They originated in the Tarragona region, although they can be seen in popular festivals in Barcelona, especially during the "Mercè".
Saint George (Sant Jordi), patron saint of Catalonia: On 23 April the Catalans celebrate Saint George's day by offering a rose and/or book, and the main shopping streets of Barcelona are filled with book stands.
Eve of Saint John's: On the 23 June, the summer solstice is celebrated with big bonfires, firecrackers and fireworks, and people eat the traditional "coca de Sant Joan" (a pastry).
La Mercè festival: This is the festival for Barcelona's patron saint, held in the week of the 24 September, the day of La Mercè. All kinds of activities are organized, for all tastes and all ages. Of particular interest is the "correfoc" (fire-breathing dragons from all over Catalonia), and the pyrotechnical music show (fireworks and classical music next to the Montjuïc fountains).
- 1 January: New year's day
- 6 January: Epiphany
- April: Easter
- 23 April: Saint George's day
- 27 April: Mare de Déu de Montserrat
- 1 May: May Day
- 19 May: Whitsun
- 24 June: Saint John's day
- 15 August: Assumption Festivities of Gracia
- 11 September: La Diada (Catalan national holiday)
- 24 September: La Mercè
- 12 October: Columbus Day
- 1 November: All Saints' Day
- 6 December: Constitution Day
- 8 December: Immaculate Conception
- 25 December: Christmas
- 26 December: Saint Stephen's Day