La Mercè – Barcelona’s patron saint festival

Parades on the streets and holiday in Barcelona

forrecor La Mercè   Barcelonas patron saint festival

Since 1871 the habitants of Barcelona are enjoying the public holiday to celebrate their patron city festival with big parties on the streets in September.

Even though it means a lot of fun on those days, its origin is still religious.
The expression Mercè in the catalan language is connoted to the life of the holy virgin.
The basilica which is located in the Gothic Quarter and which dedicated to the virgin, get a special meaning on those days.

Normally it is the 24th of September which is celebrated but due to the importance of this occasion La Mercè is already celebrated some days before.

On the streets you can enjoy amazing parades, shows with drums and loud music and crazy people in costumes.

This year’s highlights include:
Friday September 20
18:00 La Cavalcada dels Barcelonins Il.lustres – Plaça Sant Jaume
The opening procession.

22:00 Fireworks competition – Barceloneta beach
La Mercè is also the day of the three day international fireworks competition.

Saturday September 21
20:00 El Correfoc – Via Laietana

Correfoc means translated "fire run".
Dragons are running through the streets by fire-breathing and making people run away.
This is one of the crazy spectacles on this day.
You should really see it, but do not wear you best clothes.
Usually every year people catch fire on those days, due to synthetic clothes.

22:00 Fireworks competition – Barceloneta beach
Second night of the international competition.

human building La Mercè   Barcelonas patron saint festival

Sunday September 22
08:00-18 Traditional elements – Plaça Sant Jaume
The third day starts very early because people are supposed not to sleep on the night from Saturday to Sunday.
It starts at Plaça Sant Jaume. The giant statues are brought out again, and around noon the ‘castellers’ begin their human tower building.

22:00 Fireworks competition – Barceloneta beach
Final night of the competition.

Tuesday September 24 (public holiday)
12:00 Festa Castellera – Plaça Sant Jaume
The human tower building gets serious as two of the best castellers groups stack the bodies high.

21:00-23:00 Piromusical – Plaça Espanya
The final of those days should be celebrated with your friends.
Come all to Placa Espanya and enjoy a picnic there. Follow the last day of the firework spectacle.


These days are one of the most exciting ones in Barcelona. It is very vivid and the weather is perfect at this time because it is not too hot. If you want to enjoy amazing September days, come and book your apartment.




This post is also available in: German

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