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Districts of Barcelona

Fiesta Mayor in Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i La Ribera

Written by Daniella

An ideal way to enjoy the traditions and customs of a certain area is going to the fiesta mayor in any neighbourhood in Barcelona. In addition to knowing how the locals have fun and share their identity, you can also enjoy the many activities that are being organized, like for instance concerts and having meals together. In short, you will get better acquainted with the people who live in a specific neighbourhood. All the neighbourhoods of Barcelona have their own fiesta mayor and today, ShBarcelona will share information with you about the fiesta mayor in the neighbourhood of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and La Ribera that takes place on June 20.

Related article: Fiesta Mayor in the Neighbourhood of Sagrada Familia

Discover fiesta mayor in the neighbourhood of La Ribera

Photo by M McBey via Visualhunt

The neighbourhood of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i La Ribera is an area belonging to the district of Ciutat Vella and it has three different zones. The neighbourhood of Sant Pere is characterized by being a family oriented area, while the neighbourhood of Santa Caterina houses the market that carries the same name, and La Ribera has become a commercial and cosmopolitan area. The charm of this part of​Barcelona has to do with its narrow streets, which still retain their medieval structure and, which are, to a certain extent, pretty chaotic. Some streets refer to Medieval crafts, such as hatter or mirror maker. In the nineteenth century it became a working-class neighbourhood, full of factories and with living conditions that left a lot to be desired. Later, during the 1960s, measures were taken to improve old houses and overall neighbourhood conditions. Unfortunately many houses in this area did not even have their own bathroom up until then, so residents had to clean everything as well as they could. Hygienic conditions then were, as you can imagine, not upto standard. This all changed when the houses were reconstructed and hygienic elements were installed. In spite of everything, the apartments in this area are usually small and quite dark, mainly because of the narrow streets and the type of compartmented apartments that had been constructed.

Related article: Fiesta Mayor of Sant Martí

Photo by Fortimbras via Visualhunt

As in the other neighbourhoods of the Ciutat Vella, the colla de gigantes (or parade with giants) is a key event during the festival. The Gigantes de Santa Maria del Mar, the most important basilica in the area, originate from 1582, and today they still are the main characters at the fiesta mayor. There is even an act dedicated to them exclusively: El Baile de Gigantes Históricos (the Dance of Historical Giants), which takes place inside the church. Associations such as the Colles Sardanistas Laietans, the Colla de Diables or the Esbart Espiga d’Or also promote some elements of Catalan culture, that had not existed in the area before: the Correfocs (fireworks), giants and bigheads, and dragons with fire from their mouths… all imaginary creatures, that play their role in a unique cultural identity. The most important location during these celebrations is the Parque del Pou de la Figuera, which after a long period of struggles finally belongs to the neighbourhood. Among many other events related to the festival, there are activities such as an outdoor cinema and circus shows. Also the Hortet del Forat and the Centro Social de Barrio Pou de la Figuera, are key locations for activities that take place during fiesta mayor this year.

*Main photo via Visualhunt

Did you visit the fiesta mayor of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i La Ribera?

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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