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Traditional festivals

Fiesta Mayor in Poble Sec 2019

Written by Daniella

The fiestas mayores in Catalan towns and cities represent traditional culture, entertainment, teamwork and, since recently, strong statements. There is always a festive atmosphere with cheerful people, young and old, but above all, it is a feast for the inhabitants of the city, municipality or neighbourhood. And in order to better understand the culture and traditions of a place, it is very interesting to visit a fiesta mayor. Today, this article by ShBarcelona will tell you more about the famous fiesta mayor in Poble Sec.

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Fiesta mayor in one of Barcelona’s iconic neighbourhoods

Photo by Carquinyol via Visualhunt

The fiesta mayor in the neighbourhood of Poble Sec takes place in the second half of July. It is organised by many local organisations and the main locations for activities are important squares and streets in the neighbourhood, such as Plaça del Sortidor, Parque de las Tres Xemeneies and Plaça de la Bella Dorita. As with other popular celebrations in Catalan culture and tradition, music and dance are key elements. You will be able to observe giants, castellers and correfocs. The fiesta mayor in the neighbourhood of Poble Sec has been taking place since the 1990s, which, compared to other neighbourhoods, means they have only been celebrating fiesta mayor here for a short period of time now. One of the highlights during these celebrations is the jornada castellera (human castles), and the Castellers of Poble Sec host this event. It will be celebrated in Carrer de Blai at midday on fiesta mayor’s Sunday. Casteller groups from other Catalan places will, of course, also participate. Another major event is the meeting of giants (or gigantes). Every year during the most important day of fiesta mayor, the Colla de Geganters i Grallers del Poble Sec organises a meeting of giants, and the parade takes place at Avinguda del Paral-lel.

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Photo by Oh-Barcelona via Visualhunt

Another big happening during fiesta mayor in Poble Sec is the Toc d’Inici del Poble Sec. In the night of fiesta mayor’s second Saturday, there will be a parade by the giants of Poble Sec along with their entire entourage, from Plaça del Sortidor to Plaça de Las Navas. And when they arrive at their destination, a traditional dance will be performed. The whole group will be accompanied by members of the Societat Coral Els Moderns del Poble Sec and trabucaires (a group armed with trabucs). This is a typical Catalan folkloric musical element.  The correfoc (or fire-run) is a much awaited and popular part of the fiesta mayor festivities. The Diables del Poble Sec (devils) are in charge of carrying out the correfoc, which starts at Plaça del Sortidor. At the end of the correfoc, the devils perform their closing act, that consists of a tamborrada and then a percussion concert. One of the last important traditions during the festivities, is Secasac. This is when the ‘grallers’ (gralla is a Catalan music instrument) and drummers from the Castellers del Poble Sec organise a small music festival. It starts with a parade to the gardens of Tres Xemeneies and after that, a very loud and cheerful concert follows.

*Main photo by J.Enric via Visualhunt

Have you been to the fiesta mayor in Poble Sec before? Any tips?

About the author


Daniella enjoys everything the city of Barcelona has to offer. She writes, translates and loves discovering Catalonia and its beautiful nature.

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