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BARCELONA WELCOMES IN LA MERCÈ 2019

Cartell_La_ Mercè_19

The Festa Major de la Mercè is here once again! If you’re not familiar with this festival, get ready for one of Barcelona’s best celebrations of the year!

Every year, Barcelona hosts a 5-day festival in honor of one of its patron saints: la Mercè. The festival is all about exhibiting and celebrating Catalan popular culture and tradition, and the program is always packed. Amongst other things, you can enjoy: giants, dragons, beasts, human towers, fire-runs, sardana dances, parades, traditional drumming, concerts, street theater and art, etc. All across the city, you’ll be able to find bustling activity and festive spirit, and it’s all for free.

The festival caps off on September 24th, the Day of La Mercè,  with the Piromusical which is always hosted at Plaça Espanya and features music, synchronized fireworks and the Montjuïc’s magical water fountain.

WHY DOES BARCELONA CELEBRATE LA MERCÈ?

Back in 1687, Barcelona was suffering a plague of locusts. In order to combat the problem, the Consell de Cent (“Council of One Hundred”) agreed, after a vote, to ask the “Virgin of Mercy” for help. Shortly after, the pests disappeared, and the city decided to name her patroness of Barcelona. This decision wasn’t ratified by the Pope until 1868, and it wasn’t until 1902 that the city would hold the first annual festival in honor of the Virgin.

WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO?

Seeing as there are over 600 programmed activities city-wide over the next five days, here are some of the staple events that you probably won’t want to miss:

  • Correfoc de La Mercè (Fire-Run of La Mercè)

    • When: Saturday, September 21st at 20:30
    • Where: Plaça Antoni Maura —>Via Laietana —> Plaça Antoni López
  • 69th Concurs de Colles Sardanistes (Sardana Team Competition)

    • When: Sunday, September 22nd from 11:00-13:00
    • Where: Avinguda de la Catedral i Plaça Nova
  • Diada Castellera Històrica de la Mercè (Historic Human Towers of La Mercè Exhibition)

    • When: Sunday, September 22nd at 12:00
    • Where: Plaça Sant Jaume
  • Xambanga de Gegants (Procession of Dancing Giants)

    • When: Monday, September 23rd at 20:45
    • Where: Plaça dels Àngels —> Bonsuccés—> la Rambla—> Ferran—> Plaça Sant Jaume (22:00)
  • Galejada Trabucaire (Blunderbuss Display)

    • When: Tuesday, September 24th at 9:15
    • Where: Font de Canaletes —> la Rambla —> Ferran —> Plaça Sant Jaume
  • Matí Gegant: XXVI Mostra de Balls de Gegants i Passada de Nans i Gegants (Morning of the Giants: XXVI Display of Giants’ Dances and Procession of Giants and “Big Heads”)

    • When: Tuesday, September 24th at 11:00
    • Where: Plaça Sant Jaume —> Ferran —> La Rambla —> Pintor Fortuny —> Àngels —> Montalegre
  • Diada Castellera de La Mercè (Human Towers of La Mercè Exhibition)

    • When: Tuesday, September 24th at 13:00
    • Where: Plaça Sant Jaume
  • Cavalcada de La Mercè (La Mercè Parade)

    • When: Tuesday, September 24th at 18:00
    • Where: Pelai —> Plaça Catalunya —> la Rambla —> Ferran —> Plaça Sant Jaume (19:00)
  • Dalumen Lab: Mapping of La Mercè

    • When: September 20th from 21:15-24:00, September 21st and 22nd from 20:30-24:00, September 23rd from 22:30-24:00 and September 24th from 20:45-22:00
    • Where: Plaça Sant Jaume
  • Piromusical de La Mercè (Fireworks set to music)

    • When: Tuesday, September 24th at 22:00
    • Where: Avinguda Maria Cristina
For the full La Mercè 2019 program, click here.

 

By EMILY BENSON

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