With stunning and giant human towers, amazing fireworks, and dancing devils, Barcelona celebrates its vibrant annual event- Festes de la Merce from 19th-24th September every year. It is one of the most razzle-dazzle festivals to give something extra to the party-goers. This huge fiesta is actually a unique combination of the traditional culture of Catalonia community of Barcelona and the modern artistry. Though Barcelona is the home of different festivals, La Merce is regarded as the biggest street party of the city where the pulsating creations of the castells are upheld.
History Of La Mercè Festival
The festival was first started off as an honorary procession to Barcelona’s patron saint, Virgin of Mercy in the early 18th century. According to the legends, though this saint has played a great role in the Christian’s liberation in the early part of the 13th century, yet she is remembered mainly for the role she played in 1687. When Barcelona was badly fighting against the plague of locust, the city prayed to the Virgin of Mercy and sought her assistance to overcome the infestation. Virgin of Mercy appeared and saved the entire city from the deadly locust. A wave of happiness flows through the city and Virgin of Mercy became the patron saint of Barcelona.
Fun at Festes de la Merce
La Merce is the fire-iest and the noisiest festivals of Spain that calls people from around the world to take part in its performances, fireworks, and music. Some of the events that will compel you to break the ice and join the festive mood are as follows:
- Human Towers or Castellers: Watching the people climbing on the shoulders of others to form the tower or the castells at Placa Saint Jaume and then falling again on the back of each other will make you hoot with laughter and also cheer louder with the crowd when the child at the top of the tower raises his hands.
- Giant Parade or Gigantes: When you see the giant figures of kings, queens, and nobles are parading and dancing in front of your eyes, you will definitely not be able to resist moving your feet with the rhythm.
- Sardanes Dance: The dancers of this Traditional Catalan dance form a circle by holding arms of each other and create an ambiance of enjoyment where everyone automatically forgets his/her pains. Lift your arms when they will raise theirs’ in the air to enjoy this blissful moment to the most.
- Fireworks and Correfoc: La Merce is incomplete with the Correfoc, so don’t miss it. In this parade, the people disguised as devils let off the big sound of fireworks. These devils light up the sky with the awe-inspiring fireworks. If you are planning to see it with your kids, make sure that they are standing at a safe distance from the parade as the dragon in the parade releases fire to add to the fun.
How to Visit Barcelona
As the city is situated near the railway station, train route is the most preferable option. Go to Macanet-Massanes station and catch the train to Barcelona from terminal 2. If you want to travel in a low-cost airplane, then visit Reus International Airport.