Street festivals in Barcelona, known as ‘Festes Majors’, are a popular, longstanding tradition that allow locals to celebrate the life of their neighbourhood with Catalan traditions. These festivals take place at different times throughout summer for the various neighbourhoods in Barcelona, and they are a spectacular thing to experience, both for locals and people passing through.
Everyone gets involved in these street festivals, particularly the residents, who decorate their street with colourful adornments, and compete with other streets to win the prize of best-decorated street. Usually, each street decides on a theme as part of this competition, and they create giant papier-mâché figures with huge heads, as well as impressive dragon creations. It is a really incredible thing to see, all of the streets covered with bright and original decorations.
In addition to the decorations, the Festes Majors showcase a range of other Catalan traditions. If you go and visit, you will see locals performing the Sardana dance, creating human towers called ‘castellers’, and the ‘Correfoc’, which is a fire run where people dress up as devils and dance through the streets carrying sparklers, accompanied by a band who provide music for the spectacle. Festes Majors also often have free open-air concerts for people to enjoy.
Although some of the Festes Majors have already taken place, if you are planning on coming to Barcelona there are still more that you can enjoy. During August, the Gracia street festival will be taking place from 15th – 21st August. The festival always happens on these dates, the first day is a public holiday in Spain, called Assumption Day. It is considered to be the best, most festive and welcoming festival of them all, because the area itself is so charming, with a laidback atmosphere and lively squares. The best time to visit is during the evening when it is dark out, because the streets are lit up and it brings the handmade decorations to life.
For information about street festivals that will be taking place in the upcoming months, take a look at their info pages –
Festa Major de Gracia – http://lameva.barcelona.cat/culturapopular/en/festivals-and-traditions/festa-major-de-gracia
Festa Major de Sants – http://lameva.barcelona.cat/culturapopular/en/festivals-and-traditions/festa-major-de-sants
Festa Major de Les Corts – http://lameva.barcelona.cat/culturapopular/en/festivals-and-traditions/festa-major-de-les-corts
Festa Major de Sarrià – http://lameva.barcelona.cat/culturapopular/en/festivals-and-traditions/festa-major-de-sarria