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Calendar and Holidays


(N) National public holiday throughout Spain

(C) Public holiday in Catalonia

(B) Public holiday in Barcelona


31 December/1 January — A night of celebration, normally with family. It is a tradition to eat a grape for every one of the twelve chimes of the bells at midnight and to make a wish. After eating a meal, people go out to bars and nightclubs. (N)

6 January — This is the day for children. The Three Kings of the East disembark at Port Vell and parade through the city giving away sweets. (N)


Carnival (Carnestoltes) — This involves processions and fancy dress. These are particularly lively and popular in Sitges, with parades organized by the local community of Garraf.

Festival of Santa Eulàlia — This normally coincides with the Carnival. Numerous cultural events are organized, with the human castles of the castellers being the most traditional (these have been listed as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO)


Easte r— On Good Friday the Blessed Virgin Mary makes her way up the Ramblas to Plaza Cataluña, accompanied by various religious groups and to the sound of marching bands.

23 April — Saint Jordi's Day — Saint Jordi is the patron saint of Catalonia. The custom is for men to give roses to women and for women to give books to men. Multitudes of people stroll along the Ramblas, Rambla Catalunya and Plaça Sant Jaume, which are full of life and colour. (This is not a public holiday).


1 May— International Workers- Day (N)
Primavera Sound www.primaverasound.com

This event is held at the end of May and involves three days of top DJs mixing in the Forum area.


Sónar — www.sonar.es This electronic music festival is famous throughout Europe and features performances all around the city. Neither the venues nor the dates are fixed. Both day and night tickets are available.

Grec Festival — This takes place throughout summer and offers a programme of music, theatre and dance. The amphitheatre which is the main venue for the festival is where the event takes its name from.

23 June — The Eve of Sant Joan - On the night before Sant Joan (Saint John's Day) there are popular celebrations with dancing, music, bonfires and fireworks. There is a great atmosphere on all of Barcelona's beaches for this celebration.


15 August — Holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (N)

Festival of Grácia - This is one of the most popular festivals in the city. For several days the streets are decorated.

Festival of Sants — This popular festival with its Semana Grande (Great Week) takes place around 24 August.


11 September— National Day of Catalonia (La Diada) - This is the day of the Catalan nation and it commemorates the surrender of Catalan troops to the Spanish troops of Felipe V. There are celebrations and concerts throughout Catalonia. (C)

24 September— Festival of La Mercé - La Mercé is the patron saint of Barcelona. This celebration includes four days of free concerts, various cultural activities, and is rounded off by spectacular fireworks on Montjuïc. (B)

29 September - Festival of Barceloneta - Music, dancing and fun next to the beach.


12 October — Day of the Spanish Nation (N)


1 November— All Saints Day (N)

International Jazz Festival - This takes place during the moths of November and December at wellknown Barcelona venues. www.the-proyect.net


6 December — Day of the Spanish Constitution (N)

8 December — Festival of the Blessed Virgin (N)

24 December — (The 23rd is not a public holiday) Christmas Eve is one of the most treasured nights by children, as they can enjoy the uniquely Catalan tradition of the Caga Tiò, which is a trunk of wood with scatological connotations that produces presents and sweets from its rear as children beat it with a stick.

25 December - Christmas Day (N)

26 December - Boxing Day (C)