It is believed that August is the quietest month in Barcelona. During the month that the temperature reaches the climax, many people take their vacation, shopkeepers close stores and business is less busy. Nevertheless, many local decide to stay in the city. Even though it’s hot, Barcelona is nothing but one of the most desired summer destination for many tourists. Additionally, one of the most standing festival during the year – Festa Major de Gracia, occurs in August.
Gracia Festa Major
- Date: August 15 to August 21
- Opening: Weekdays until 2 AM, Friday & Saturday until 3.30 AM
In 2018, Festa Major in Gracia takes place from August 15 to August 21, spreading every street in Gracia district. During this seven-day festival, the whole charming and bohemian district is transformed into unique themes during the days and hold concerts and open-air party at nights. Being a tradition and carrying a rich history, the festival has welcome thousands of people to attend its 200th edition in 2017.
A wide range of activities
With more than 500 activities take place on streets and plazas across the district, the festival is remarkably promising. The first and foremost highlight of the festival is street decoration. Like Girona Flower festival, all streets are decorated in a unique theme that is voted and prepared by residents. Every decoration is handmade and mostly use recycled material. The fact that the most impressive street decoration will get an annual prize encourages neighbors to take it seriously, leading to plenty of catchy and artistic ideas.
Besides street decoration, traditional Catalan Sardana dance also turns up in this festival. If you do not know, this is one of the most traditional customs in Catalunya where people, regarding sex and age, holding hands and perform a simplistic dance in live music. Sardana is open for everyone to join as its purpose is to truly connect people.
If you are excited about human castles then this cultural sense should not be missed. Human castle tower, which builds up 7 to 8 people in height and can reach up to 10 people sometimes, is practiced and formed live several times during the festival, mostly around 8 P.M. Taking part in this fun, excited but dangerous activities are casteller teams in Barcelona such as Castellers de Barcelona, Xiquest de Reus and Casteller de la Vila de Gracia. They are all in uniform dress. Remember to follow the schedule to know time and venue for this exciting activity of Spain.
Do not miss the giants' parade as it is normally during the kick off of the festival. Many workshops, show, live music are around the district.
The correfoc (fire run) custom is more or less an unmissable custom of every festival in Spain. It is a parade of devil-dressing through streets, running forwards and backs to spread sparks and fireworks, followed by a band with drums and beats. Be aware of the danger, dress well and be far from the devils as they tend to wave fire tridents towards audiences to scare them.
Even though the festival is designed by Gracia residents, neighbors all over the city and visitors are welcome to visit the heart of Barcelona throughout the festival. If you wish to fully participate in this local culture, join the concerts and parades. The festival itself is free and accessible without tickets. For the program, please visit the official website.
To explore streets in Gracia district, it is best on foot. It is highly recommended to get a map of the festival so that you do not miss anything.
If you are not lucky to live nearby the district, then take advantages of public transportation. Head to the district either with a taxi or various bus lines (22, 24, 39, 114, V17). Gracia district could also be reached with metro L3 (Diagonal, Fontana, Lesseps), L4 (Verdaguer, Joanic), L5 (Diagonal, Verdaguer) or L6/L7 (Gracia).
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