Every year from 15 August, the Gràcia neighbourhood kicks off a week full of fun and activities. During the festival the neighbourhood’s streets and squares play host to concerts, workshops, fashion shows, fireworks and much more.
Gràcia’s local festival is the most famous and most extravagant of all of Barcelona’s neighbourhood celebrations and attracts crowds in the thousands, including locals and tourists alike, as well as people from Barcelona’s surroundings interested in going to one of the events or simply strolling through the neighbourhood.
One of the highlights of the festival is the original street decorations, which are different every year. The locals spend the months leading up to the festival hard at work on the distinctive, colourful adornments that create a unique atmosphere in the streets of the neighbourhood. A competition is even held to decide which street is the best decorated.
For every summer for several years now, Sala Montjuïc has offered an open-air cinema season in the gardens around Montjuïc Castle. Screenings are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 p.m., with a total of 15-18 films shown in 35 mm on a giant screen.
Generally, the season includes some of the greatest films in the history of cinema, which are always shown in the original language with Spanish subtitles. Before the start of the film, you can enjoy live music from performers of different genres, including jazz, blues, flamenco and samba, as well as a selection of short films. People usually bring food and drink so that they can enjoy a picnic during the screenings.
24 September is the day of Barcelona’s Festa Major, or big annual festival, commemorating the feast day of La Mercè (Our Lady of Mercy), the patron saint of Barcelona.
Barcelona’s streets and neighbourhoods come alive during the festival which, given its huge significance to locals, isn’t only celebrated on the 24th, but rather comprises four days jam-packed with activities.
Some of the most popular activities include the Correfoc (a "fire run" in which people are pursued through the streets by firework-spraying demons, dragons and all manner of other mythological creatures), the Catalan Wine and Cava Fair (in which a number of Catalan wine producers show off their products and offer free tasting sessions) and the Piromusical (a music, fireworks and light show held in Montjuïc) which provides a fittingly spectacular finale to the celebrations.
In short, with artistic and fun activities galore, you’re bound to have a blast at this festival, which offers everything from dance to circus, concerts, shows and street art for all tastes and ages. When it comes to parties, it’s hard to top Barcelona’s La Mercè, which also marks the end of summer and looks forward to autumn.