Aug 05 2009

Don’t miss – the Gracia Festival 2009

One of the highlights of the year in Spanish towns and villages is the annual fiesta – from the famous bull run of Pamplona to the crazy tomato throwing festival in Bunyol, Valencia, each has it’s own unique character and flavour.  The neighbourhoods of Barcelona (towns in their own right before the expansion of Barcelona a mere 200 years ago) are no exception and Gracia, with it’s young, party-loving vibe, has long been the best.

The Festa Major de Gracia takes place this year 15th – 20th August.  The streets themselves are elabourately and colourfully decorated, the residents competing for prizes at the end of the week, and a huge range of events are staged, most involving large quantities of food and drink.

For us the highlight is the Castellers – the human castle competitions – with teams competing from all over Catalunya.  Amazing human towers of up to 6 levels, capped at the end by a small helmet-clad child who must scrabble to the top and raise an arm aloft to complete the structure.  A must see.

Look out too for the all-night street parties, with stages in all of the main squares and some streets besides.  Grab your drink from the bustling and cafes and bars spread around the neighbourhood and enjoy music for every taste.

The full schedule is kept under wraps until the last minute.  For those with any Catalan understanding, check out the site at www.festamajordegracia.cat – we’ll post some of the important info here when it is published.

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