The Fiesta de Gracia (or Festes de Gracia) is one of Barcelona‘s largest, and most colourful, festivals, and celebrates community togetherness.
Every year from 15 to 21 August, the Catalan town of Gràcia throws a week-long party complete with decorated neighbourhoods, live music, dancing, and community meals where the entire street comes to dinner on giant dining tables.
Prizes are awarded to the best decorated street, square and balcony, and let’s just say the local streets do not take this competition lightly, spending months creating intricate designs as they try to beat competition favourites Carrer de Joan Blanques and Carrer de Verdi. With a new a new theme picked each year, no two decoration schemes are ever alike.
The festival begins with a massive street parade that include gegants (giants), cagrossos (big heads) and dracs (dragons). And don’t be alarmed if you see citizens scrambling over one another – it’s a typical Catalan tradition that involves creating human towers, or colles castelleres, often reaching seven or eight storeys high.
Another tradition is the correfoc, ‘fire run’ where groups of devils (Colles de diables) dance to drums and chase people while waving around sparklers. There is a less ‘fiery’ version of the celebration for children.
Main Image by montibcn