The fiesta mayor in the neighbourhood of Gracia is one of Barcelona’s most favourite events in the month of August. This event usually takes place halfway through the month, and it attracts thousands of people, including neighbourhood inhabitants, citizens from the rest of the city and foreigners. Everyone wants to enjoy one of the most original fiestas mayores of the Catalan capital. So today, this article on the ShBarcelona blog tells you more about the fiestas de Gracia, which is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Barcelona.
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What you need to know about fiesta mayor 2019 in the neighbourhood of Gracia
The Fiesta Mayor in Gracia dates all the way back to 1817, where it first appears in the book “Murallas Allá” by historian Francisco Curet. The text says that the first celebration in Gracia took place on August 15, 1817. It consisted of a festive procession, to return the illustration of the Virgin of the Masia of Can Trilla to the Convent of Jesus, where it originally came from. It had been hidden to avoid possible damage or destruction during the French War.
When the illustration was returned to its altar, the villagers celebrated this with dancing and eating out on the streets together. It was then decided to have an annual celebration on every August 15. And as a result, we see celebratory activities taking place on and around this date to celebrate history.
In 1997 the Generalitat de Catalunya catalogued the Fiesta Mayor de Gracia as a heritage festival, marking it a Traditional Festival of National Interest, so from then onwards it was an established festival. The popularity of the celebration has only increased since that moment, as more and more people gather year after year. And this has led to fiesta mayor becoming one of the most important festivities in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia.
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The fiesta mayor in Gracia will take place from August 15 to 21, 2019. One of the most interesting elements of fiesta mayor in this popular neighbourhood of Barcelona, is that neighbourhood associations from different streets in the neighbourhood get together to decorate the streets. They do this every year and decorations are getting increasingly sophisticated. They use recycled products, and some decorations are true works of art.
The inhabitants that take care of these marvellous decorations, are preparing for fiesta mayor all throughout the year, in order to be completely ready by the time the fiesta starts. Decorations have great artistic, creative and associative meaning. And in addition, the festivities in Gracia traditionally begin with the annual declaration made by a relevant social, cultural or political person.
On the many days of the festival, there are various concerts in different places, a foam festival for children to help them survive the summer heat, but there are also parades, correfocs (fire runs), a diada castellera (human castles), butifarradas (butifarra is sausage) and meals together on the streets, an open-air cinema and shows for the youngest children.
*Main photo by calafellvalo via Visualhunt
Have you ever visited the fiesta mayor in Gracia?