Santa Eulàlia Festival in Barcelona is also called Fiesta Mayor de Invierno, or Winter Festival, and – this should not come as a surprise now – it takes place in the middle of winter. Fiesta de Santa Eulàlia is one of the most important celebrations in the city, along with La Mercè.
All the activities that take place during the days of the celebration are to commemorate one of Barcelona’s patron saints: Santa Eulàlia. Would you like to learn more of this celebration? Then keep on reading, because this article by ShBarcelona will tell you more on the Fiestas de Santa Eulàlia.
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What is Santa Eulàlia festival in Barcelona about?
Santa Eulàlia was born in the neighbourhood of Sarrià in Barcelona. She lived at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th century A.D., and according to legend, she was a Christian. When she was only 13 years old, Emperor Diocletian tried to force her to renounce her religion.
But… the young lady refused, and she was therefore punished with 13 martyrdoms, the exact number of her age. After enduring all of them, she was then crucified, and her remains are now in Barcelona’s cathedral, which explains the full name of the cathedral: the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulàlia.
This year’s Santa Eulàlia festival will be on February 7, 8, 9 and 12. All festivities and activities are free of charge, and they will take place at various locations throughout the district of Ciutat Vella.
Every year the event is fully programmed with activities, events and celebrations, and many citizens of Barcelona join these festivities.
Santa Eulàlia festival is mainly a traditional event, and for the most part the programme is based on its popular culture, but there is also room for fun and relaxation, so many people really enjoy these festive moments that take place every the year.
There are many cultural and leisure activities during the festival, and these are all aimed at encouraging the city’s residents and its visitors to keep on participating in its fiestas.
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The festival’s most characteristic activities will be at Plaza Sant Jaume. The traditional opening speech on the balcony of Barcelona City Hall has been celebrated for many years, and after this event, it’s time for all the other initiatives to start.
We would also like to highlight Catalan traditional dances and the demonstrations by Los Falcons in Barcelona, as they have been part of the festivities since 2003. The group can take different shapes and form several figures, both static and dynamic, and as time progressed, their show has become more and more complex.
You can also enjoy the castelleras: human towers of several levels that differ in height. Every year they perform their act in front of a live audience, and they always hope to exceed expectations. Besides the castelleras you can see the Protocolo del Águila (the Protocol of the Eagle), which is a much awaited event that consists of a lively dance with one of Barcelona’s most characteristic and popular animals.
Santa Eulàlia festival is held in winter, and you can also encounter cabezudos (big heads), dragons, gigantes (giants), devils and other (dancing) figures that are part of the city’s popular culture. Afterwards, you can enjoy Llum BCN Festival. The creative minds behind Llum use many forms of light as a form of expression, and on the night of Santa Eulàlia they will illuminate the streets of Ciutat Vella with technological elements of light. You will be mesmerized by what you see when you are lucky enough to be in the city at the time of the festival.
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