While the start of the summer is celebrated massively during the night of Sant Joan, the end of the summer is celebrated even more massively with La Mercè.
La Mercè is the patron saint of Barcelona and is celebrated on September 24. This year, Barcelona will turn once again into one big party from September 20 until September 24. More than 600 activities take place all over the city, ranging from open doors in museums to Catalan traditions.
It is a celebration of creativity, modernity, equality and multiculturalism, but also of traditions. Let’s start with the traditions, which go back until 1871. From 1902, the “castells” and “gegants” have started to gain popularity during popular festivities. La Mercè is also known for the ‘correfocs’, people disguised as devils who run through the streets with fire and shoot firework. While generally, you can join the fun with the fire, there are some professional performances of correfocs. Further, you will be able to see the ‘sardana’, Catalonia’s typical dance.
The creativity and modernity can be seen in the multimedia projections on the façades of important buildings in the city, such as La Sagrada Familia and the building of the Ajuntament on Plaça Sant Jaume. One of the top events during La Mercè is the Piromusical, which consists in firework coordinated with the music and the spectacles of the Magic Fountain at the bottom of Montjuic.
Finally, the aspect of equality and multiculturalism is very important. Equality is possible during this week because all activities are completely free and everyone, young and old, rich and poor, are invited to join the festivities. As more than a million people join the festivities each year, this is really the “festival of the festivals”. Multiculturalism is possible thanks to the many foreign visitors to the city, but Barcelona also invites a partner city each year to divulge its culture in Barcelona. This year, Vienna has been invited as guest city.
Find all the information you need on the official website of La Mercè. You can find many pictures of La Mercè 2012 on our Pinterest. Please feel free to share your pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest via the hashtag #aptb4s.