Celebrating La Merce festival in Barcelona
Today, the 18th of September, is the first day of Barcelona’s largest festival and one of the highlights of the year in Barcelona...
The Merce festival is packed with events, concerts, dancing, fireworks, parades, “fire-runs”, human towers and much more. This is a spectacular event where all of Barcelona comes alive. The streets are filled with people, music and joy. This year's festival is from the 18th to 24th of September.
The celebration is a tribute to Virgin Mary. According to the legend, she appeared to the Catalan knight Pere Nolasc on 2nd of August 1218, and asked him to form an order in her name. The Merced order was founded and was dedicated to ransoming Christians, who had been taken prisoners of pirates. All the details of the foundation and the legend are actually still kept today at the Aragon Crown Archives in Barcelona.
Centuries later, in 1687, Barcelona suffered a plague of locusts. The City Counsil turned to La Merce and she came to the aid of the city and made the plague disappear. Afterwards, the Counsel elected La Merce to be the patron saint of Barcelona. Since then, the city has celebrated the La Merce festival every year, and the locust plague has never returned.
La Merce 2015 offers hundreds of big and small events showing popular Catalan and Mediterranean culture. You can experience impressive Catalan traditions like fire-runs, human towers, sardanes dancing, giants and more. There will also be concerts, parades, fireworks and many activities all over the city. This year's festival may be special since elections are only weeks away and the Catalan national feeling is strong these days.
If you would like to experience La Merce or other festivals in Barcelona, we can help you. We tailor-make group trips to Barcelona based on you needs and wishes. Contact us for the best advice on what to see and do in Barcelona.
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