La Merce – The weather is balmy, the eveings still long and as summer finally winds down, Barcelona parties. The city’s main annual festival, celebrating the end of summer and Barcelona’s Saint- the Virgin La Merce. Marked by 3 days of festivities, including fireworks, carnivals, music events, exhibitions, workshops, parades, and a slew of cultural attractions including the human pyramids, saldana dancing and more, La Merce takes place during September, so put a note in your calendar and enjoy all the cava drinking you can.
Nit de Sant Joan – the best place to start your evening on the Night of Sant Joan, is atop the hill over looking Barcelona. Take along a picnic and head up to the canons of carmel. The sun sets and the fireworks begin. They will continue all night, until dawn the crackle of gun powder fills the streets, echoing across the neighborhoods. Accompanied by large bonfires and jovial catalans, you can make your way to the beach for what promises to be a wild fire fueled night.
Festa Major de Gracia – every neighborhood in Barcelona has their own fiesta or festival, Gracias is probably the most renowned, and one of the highlights of summer. Read about it here, and definitely put it on your itinerary if you find yourself in Barcelona during August.
Diada de Sant Jordi– Lovers day in Barcelona. Similar to valentines day, here Saint George is celebrated by giving flowers and books to your loved ones. The streets are filled with roses and little book stalls and its a lovely day to wander Barcelona’s streets. Your feet will be cushioned by petals, and you can enjoy a coffee and read your newly purchased book in a cafe. Men traditionally buy roses for the women in their life and the woman buy books for the men. It’s interesting to walk down Rambla de catalunya on this day, although it may get a little crowded. Often authors will be out signing copies of their books, so you might want to see if your favorite is in town.
Sant Medir – another festival that takes place in Gracia. The sweet filled festival of Sant Medir will be a favorite with the kids. Head up to the barrio to watch the processions of horses and trucks with festival participants hurling bag loads of sweets into the air. Bring along an umbrella like the locals, who hold them upside down to catch the falling bounty. You could collect a year long supply of candy for your sweet tooth!