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Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

La Mercé

Last weekend was one of the biggest festivals of the year, the Mercé.  Unique to the city, Barcelona witnesses 5 days of revelry, including two days in which most classes are suspended.  Celebrating Barça’s patron saint, from whence it draws its name, the festivities contain many Spanish traditions including the gigantes (which I unfortunately missed, but are towering papier maché figures that parade down the street);

 

Although I didn't get my butt out of bed early enough to see them during the Mercé, here is a picture I took of the gigantes in a civic center in the Gracia neighborhood

Although I didn't get my butt out of bed early enough to see them during the Mercé, here is a picture I took of the gigantes in a civic center in the Gracia neighborhood


Castellers (literally “human castles” in which troupes of people climb one on top of the other on each other’s shoulders forming huge human towers);

 

The castellers or human castles

The castellers or human castles

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and Correfoc (a massive pyromaniacal parade in which revelers dressed as demons spray sparks of flame into the crowds watching from the sidewalks).

 

Sparks from Correfoc

Sparks from Correfoc

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¡Demonio!

¡Demonio!

A dragon contraption spewing fire

A dragon contraption spewing fire


Additionally, there weare many wonderful fireworks displays on the beach each night, other performance groups, and music concerts.  

One group I enjoyed in particular was called Strange Fruit, an Australian theater company that is known for their creative and whimsical performance pieces.  Rather than trying to describe them to you, here are some photos from one of their performances in the park:

 

Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit

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Other highlights?  A preponderance of niños wearing outrageous little elfin-like hats made out of what appeared to be paper bags:

Still don't know the significance of this...

Still don't know the significance of this...

All in all a special weekend that I’m glad I got to take part in and experience while over here.

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