Festa Major de Gràcia

Every town in Spain has its own festival and the barrios of Barcelona (many former independent villages) are no exception. Apart from La Mercè, the festival of the city of Barcelona, the ‘Festes de Gràcia’ are the biggest and best (biased, us?) Normally starting on the 15th August which is, helpfully, a public holiday, the Festes de Gràcia convert the neighbourhood into a hub of colour, creativity, music and free expression. The traditional elements of a Catalan festival are all here; castellers (human towers) and correfoc (literally ‘fire running’) are two of my favourites. The streets seem to have ceilings having been decorated with all kinds of weird and wonderful items, in fact there is a ‘best dressed street’ award which is highly coveted by the locals. During the day children can watch the amazing human towers or try out the hundreds of cultural activities put on for the 6 days of the festival. By night you’ll find sculptures on street corners, live music in every plaça, poetry slams, and even mojitos being sold from people’s front rooms.