La Mercè in Barcelona

La Mercè is the biggest party of the year in Barcelona! 🎉🎵37457652785_75cec3b857_oAs an annual festival that has been celebrated since the Middle Ages, it honors the patron saint, Our Lady of Mercy (Mare de Déu de la Mercè). This four-day festival is jam-packed with over 500 different types of performances all over the city!36645325873_e7b054e307_oFrom traditional dance performances to modern pyrotechnics, this festival leaves no stone unturned! Best of all, everything you see is free! 😲 And of course, there are also plenty of street food vendors there selling greasy goodies and cold beers to keep you going all throughout the night!🍔🌭🍺

37457653185_d864978dc1_o37457653165_4cf07732de_oDuring the four-day festival, I was lucky enough to attend a local party and see a wide-variety of performances!

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local party- appetizers and empanadas
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Spanish tortilla appetizer- eggs with potato and onion

As such, I put together a little video montage for you all. Now the video I made starts off very traditional where I show visitors gathering in Plaça de Sant Jaume, waving the Catalan flag and watching los gigantes. The importance of los gigantes (the giants) is a 15th century Catalan tradition, that is either religious or pagan in origin, possibly symbolizing Goliath or the struggle between Arabs and Christians during the Middle Ages.

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los gigantes

Side note: When I speak of Catalan culture in Catalonia, I’m referring to the region in Spain where Barcelona is located.

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Catalonia is a region in Spain, where Barcelona is located

The Catalonians have a different language, flag, culture, and traditions, separate from the rest of Spain. There is even a current political situation where the region wants to vote to become independent from the rest of the country. Here are a few of the protesters during the festival.

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Catalonians protesting their right to vote and become independent from Spain

Anyway, after los gigantes, we see a glimpse of the Castellers, or human tower, another deeply rooted tradition in Catalonia, where professionals swiftly construct and dismantle human towers, usually with a small child on top! 😲

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human tower with a child on top!

Afterwards, in the video, we see a series of traditional Catalan dances, including a stick dance and ‘La Sardana’, a dance where Catalans join hands together in a circle, to symbolize unity and pride. 🕺🏼💃🏻

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La Sardana traditional dancing

From there, the performances become a bit more international, with folk dancers performing in front of cathedral, and a Asian drum performance. ⛪ 🥁

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international folk performance in front of the cathedral
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drum performance at Parc de la Ciutadella

After, we see a bit of the modern and unique pyrotechnics involved at La Mercè, with a light show display in front of the Parc de la Ciutadella fountain, an illuminated gazebo performance, and some weird and wacky glowing neon inflatables! 💚💜💙

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picture of Parc de la Ciutadella that I edited using the Prisma app

We end the video off with a literal bang during the Correfoc, a fire-run where patrons dress demonic, and light hundreds of thousands of sparklers off as they parade down the grand Via Laietana. 👹 🔥Be sure to look for the little dragons and the giant devil shooting fire-jets off into the crowd! Hah! 😜

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demon at Correfoc

Well, that wraps up the timeline of the video! Hope you enjoy! 😀 📹

Overall, I had a spectacular time at the festival, and I hope this post taught you a bit more about Catalan culture and maybe encouraged you to attend La Mercè in 2018! 😉 🇪🇸 Goodbye and until next time! Adios!37267578006_fc43009c60_c

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2 thoughts on “La Mercè in Barcelona

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