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Gracia Festival

Festival of Gracia 2017

Festival of Gracia 2017
Gran de Gràcia, 167, Gràcia, Barcelona
Aug 15 - Aug 21
  • When: 15–22 August
  • Where: The Gràcia district. Get there via local rail (Gràcia station); Metro Line 3: Diagonal, Fontana, Lesseps; Metro Line 4: Verdaguer, Joanic; Metro Line 5: Diagonal, Verdaguer.
  • Price: Free
  • Accommodation Nearby: Don't miss a moment of the festivities by staying in Gracia in one of these apartments in the district
  • Website: (Catalan)

In this article you'll find a detailed summary of the most important activities that take place during the Festivals of Gràcia — known as Les Festes de Gràcia. If you need more information, you can find it on their official Facebook or Twitter page.

From 15 August, over seven days of activities for all ages will take place continuously. This particular year the festival will have a special ambience because it's the 200th anniversary! There will be food and refreshments in the streets at affordable prices.

History

The festivals started in 1817, or at least that's the earliest recorded date historians have about the festival. That means this year is the second centenary of the festival, marking 200 years. Said malcontent was reflected in the decoration of the streets, concerts titled Nova Canço Catalana (New Catalan Song) and carrying out traditional Catalan activities.

During the dictatorship of Franco, the festival had a malcontented tone that was in favour of democracy and Catalan culture during a time of Catalan suppression.

Festa Major in Gracia, 1933
Gracia's Festa Major in 1933...

The Festivals of Gràcia, known as Les Festes de Gràcia is the most important festival in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. It is easily one of the most popular celebrations in Barcelona amongst locals and tourists alike. The origins of the festival date back to the 19th century, but today it's still attracting thousands of people each year.

Street decorations

The biggest attraction of the festival are the street decorations around the neighbourhood, each with a different theme. Various streets battle it out for the most original decorations and the best takes the annual prize. This all results in some very creative transformations.

Handmade ornamental elements fill all corners of Gracia. They are true works of art, made by the area's own neighbours, which flood their streets with colour, life and art. Each street chooses its own theme. They use any recycled and recyclable material at their disposal, such as paper, coloured paperboard and bottles.

This practice can be tracked to the beginning of the 20th Century, with evidence that spectacular scenery was staged along the streets, including pieces from important artists of the time. In 1935, the Comitè de Fires i Festes (Fairs and Festivals Committee) was created, the precursor to Federació de la Festa Major de Gràcia (Festa Major de Gracia Federation). In 1975, only five streets were decorated, but little by little the tradition was recovering. Today there are countless streets that are decorated with a different theme every year.

Festes de Gràcia
The streets get inundated with decorations!

Sardana dances

This traditional Catalan circle dance is accompanied by a live music. Participants hold hands — usually alternating between sexes — and dance in light movements.

The dance can vary in number of participants and doesn't require great physical condition outside of competitive styles, making it very accessible for anyone wishing to take part. It's a rather simplistic dance so that it's open to everyone to join in, which is why it's so popular.

Castellers day

Teams of Castellers form human castle towers that can sometimes reach 10 people in height. During the Gracia Festivals you can see these human towers being formed live. The teams that you will normally see here are the Castllers de Barcelona, Xiquets de Reus, Castellers de Vilafranca and Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia. The organization in charge is the Castellers de Barcelona.

Meeting and dance of the Gegants

Gegants is Catalan for giants. They are huge effigies that are controlled by a person underneath them. The local Gegants will meet, dance and parade with various others from around Barcelona and Catalonia.

Gegants Parade Route

  1. Leaves from Plaça de la Vila
  2. Carrer de Mozart
  3. Carrer de Jesús
  4. Gran de Gràcia
  5. Carrer de Luis Antúnez
  6. Carrer de Vic
  7. Carrer de Sant Cristòfol
  8. Plaça de la Llibertat
  9. Carrer de Berga
  10. Rambla del Prat
  11. Gran de Gràcia
  12. Carrer d'Astúries
  13. Travessia de Sant Antoni
  14. Carrer de Maspons
  15. Carrer de Sant Joaquim
  16. Travessera de Gràcia
  17. Carrer de Matilde
  18. Finishes back at Plaça de la Vila

Correfoc

Correfoc means 'Firerun'. It's a parade in which Diables (devils) run and dance through the streets spreading sparks and fireworks. There is a percussion band that follows, pulsing out rhythmic and trance-like beats. The devils attempt to scare onlookers by waving fire tridents toward them. There is a child-friendly correfoc for children that's a little less intense.

Various local groups usually take part this correfoc. There's the Drac de Gràcia, Gaudiamus (an effigy of the dragon at Park Güell), Atzeries, Colla Vella de Diables de Gràcia, Diabólica de Gràcia, Maléfica del Coll and other invited guests. Be sure to go dressed appropriately in long-sleeved 100% cotton clothes, no shorts, don't get in the way of the parade and don't wear hair spray!

Correfoc route

  1. Leaves from Carrer de Sant Domènec
  2. Carrer de Sant Pere Màrtir
  3. Carrer de Pere Serafí
  4. Carrer de Ros de Olano
  5. Carrer del Torrent de l'Olla
  6. Carrer de l'Or
  7. Carrer de Verdi
  8. Carrer de la Perla
  9. Carrer de Torrijos
  10. Travessera de Gràcia
  11. Carrer del Torrent de l'Olla
  12. Carrer del Diluvi
  13. Parade ends at Plaça de la Vila for the finale
Gracia Dragón at the Correfoc
The Gracia Dragón at the Correfoc

Community Street Paella

A typical community meal takes place on Carrer del Progrés, this year on Friday, 18 August. The price is €10 and includes the paella, a glass of wine, snacks and salad. Tickets are available from 10 August. For more information on this activity you can visit the page of this Paellada

Paella street food in Gràcia
Community Paella

Concerts 2017

These are the concerts that will be taking place over the duration of the Festes de Gràcia.

Cabaret night

Date: 16 August 2017 - 9:30PM

Location: Espai de la Calma

Salsa Gitana — Yumi Gypsy Band

Date: 19 August 2017 - 11PM

Location: Pl. Poble Romaní

Concert and Show — Festa Major

Date: 20 August 2017 - 10PM

Location: Plaça del Folk

Flamenco performance — Grup Lucero Cárdenas

Date: 20 August 2017 - 11:30PM

Location: Pl. Poble Romaní

Band bowing at Festes de Gràcia Concert
After the concert

They are considered to be one of the most vibrant and well-known festivals in the entire city. Did you know it's not the only one in the city? In fact, every neighbourhood has a Festa Major, so practically every day of the year in Barcelona sees one (full schedule of the major festivals in Barcelona here).

Video of the Gracia festival last year

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Accommodation in Gracia and Sarrià-Sant Gervasi

  • Park Güell €9
    Park Güell 8 | | 115m²
    Luminous apartment for up to 8 people with air conditioning and internet close to Parc Güell
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