Festes de Gràcia are a traditional celebration whose beginning date from 1817. Its origins were related to catholic celebrations. In those times, Gràcia wasn’t a neighbourhood of Barcelona, but an independent small village. Most of the people there were peasants and farmers, that’s why they celebrated Saint Isidore’s day. Isidore the Labourer is the patron saint of peasants.
Nowadays, Festes de Gràcia take place from 15th to 21st August and are a wonderful opportunity to live the popular parties in Barcelona. Festes de Gràcia are one of the best-known neighbourhood festivals of Barcelona and thousands of people visit and enjoy this traditional and cultural event every year.
In the next lines, we’ll give some advises to make the most of this wonderful party.
Let’s go to Gràcia
Gràcia was an independent village of Barcelona until 1897. Despite this neighbourhood is nowadays totally integrated in Barcelona, it still has the charm of a small village.
From Plaça Catalunya we can enjoy a beautiful 20 minutes’ walk through Passeig de Gràcia and we’ll be soon in Gràcia’s heart. Once there, we’ll easily notice the big difference between the elegant modernistic buildings of the Eixample and the small traditional houses of this charming area.
You can quickly go to Gràcia from this design studio next to Sagrada Familia.
Celebrating its birthday
This year, Festes de Gràcia have a special reason of celebration: they turn 200 years old!
That’s why more than 400 cultural and festive events have been scheduled. Activities to children, adults, families and teenagers. All of them will be able to choose their favourite entertainment among a big range of options.
Sports competitions, cultural workshops, outdoors cinema, free concerts and many more events are waiting for us from 15th August in Gràcia.
A colourful hand-made roof
One of the main attraction of Festes de Gràcia is the decoration of the streets. Neighbours of this charming area decorate the streets with colourful garlands and all kind of handicrafts. Often, they choose a thematic motive and decorate the streets according to it (i.e. Japanese, surfer or maritime decoration). This way, they create colourful hand-made roofs that invite you to walk along the neighbourhood for hours.
Furthermore, there’s a competition among the different streets and even the single balconies to choose the best decorated street and balcony. If you download its App, you’ll be able to vote for your favourites.
Learn Catalan traditions
Festes de Gràcia is also a good opportunity to learn Catalan traditions. They celebrate many cultural events with years and years of history.
We can participate in Cercavila de Cultura Popular, a typical parade where we’ll find Caps Grossos (big heads), Gegants (giants of Gràcia), people dancing Sardanas (traditional Catalan dance) and Correfocs (fireruns).
It’s also very common to see Castellers competitions: human towers or castles that can reach 8 floors of hight.
Respect the neighbours
Festes de Gràcia are a street festival organized by the neighbours and they warmly invite us to share with them this wonderful party.
Because of that, we should respect the neighbourhood and the people who live there. We’re guests in their home and they have prepared all the events and decorations working so hard during the year, so let’s express our gratitude and enjoy of a unique celebration together.