ACYH Blog

discovering alternative creative youth hostel
25 Jun

Traditions in Barcelona over the summer

As you may have seen from our previous blog posts, there’s always so much happening in Barcelona, especially when it comes to major music festivals. However, we mustn’t forget that Barcelona is a very culturally rich city, and there are a number of longstanding traditions that happen in Barcelona that are interesting for anyone coming to visit.

Take a look at a some of these traditions that will take place in Barcelona over the upcoming months

‘Ou Com Balla’ – 20th-22nd June

This is a more unusual tradition, which means ‘The Dancing Egg’, that originated in Barcelona in the 1600s. As part of this Corpus Christi celebration, eggs are put on streams of water on fountains decorated with flowers, and the eggs ‘dance’ on the water for hours on end. This tradition only takes place across Barcelona, and it is said to be a symbol of the circle of life, or fertility. This is definitely a lesser-known tradition in Barcelona, and I bet few people that come to visit have seen it in real life!

This year, it took place for four days at Barcelona Cathedral, visit their website for more detailed information.

https://guia.barcelona.cat/es/detall/-ltspan-classnotranslategtl-ou-com-balla-2019-corpusltspangt-ltspan-classnotranslategtl-ou-com-ballaltspangt-al-claustre-de-la-catedral-de-barcelona_99400206755.html

Ou Com Balla

Nit de Sant Joan – 23rd June

This is a tradition, celebrated across Europe every year on the evening of 23rd June. Traditionally, large bonfires are lit, and kept going through the night, to celebrate the longest day of the year, this is known as ‘Summer Solstice’ in England. There are three symbols of Sant Joan – fire, water and herbs, which represent healing, purity and remedy. As part of this celebration, you will see people leaping over the bonfires, and at midnight, some people even bathe in the sea, since this event marks a time of healing and renewal, and the effects of bathing in the sea are said to be 100 times more effective on the night of Sant Joan. The following day is known as ‘Revetlla de Sant Joan’, where there will be music and dancing in the city’s streets and squares. 

So if you are in Barcelona this weekend, head over to the beach and take part in the celebrations!

Find more information about the celebration here – https://irbarcelona.org/traditions-festivals/sant-joan-night-verbena/

Nit de Sant Joan

Procesion de la Virgen del Carmen – 16th July

On the 16th July, coastal towns throughout Catalonia celebrate ‘Our Lady of Mount Carmel’, the patron saint of seafaring communities. She is thought to protect sailors and fishermen from the perils of the sea. In Barcelona, this event is marked in Barceloneta. Local fishermen will take the image of the saint around the neighbourhood as part of the procession, going from the city to the port, where there is an improvised altar when offerings can be made to her. The aim of the ritual is to honour the saint and ask her for protection against dangers such as storms and shipwrecks. This a typical Catalonian tradition, so if you happen to be in Barcelona that weekend it’s definitely worth heading over to the beach to see!

Procesion de la Virgen del Carmen