No time to sleep in Barcelona

Musicians in Barcelona Spain Europe

Barcelona’s biggest festival reaches its crescendo on 24 September, which is a public holiday to coincide with the pre-eminent annual event.

In the preceding 3 or 4 days the city celebrates its regional culture, traditions and arts and you can expect there to be over 600 events and 2000 performers taking part. So you can understand why immediately fell for this remarkable city.

Its mixture of historical and modern, city and coast, tradition and avant garde and its energy and beauty captured me completely. That and the amazing 4-day festival I happened across on my Spain holiday.

While wandering the fascinating medieval streets, I was curious to see stages being built in every square and open space around the Old City. Come nightfall every communal area was transformed into the most eclectic mix of music that I have ever experienced. Opera, punk, reggae, folk, a cappella, classical, funk – you name it, it was there!

Fireworks lit up the streets and sky, the sangria and cerveza flowed, costumed people danced from stage to stage and all with the back drop of this exquisite city.

I wasn’t aware that I had been lucky enough to arrive on the first day of the Festas de la Merce; Barcelona’s festival to celebrate the city’s patron saint. Tradition has it that The Virgin of Mercy was asked to save the city from a plague of locusts. The plague ended and to thank her, she was named the patron saint of Barcelona.

The festival today is made up of various festivals – fire (spectacular fireworks), tradition (human pyramids, the parade of giants, elaborate costumes), sport, food and wine. Needless to say, it is one amazing party, so don’t expect to get much sleep!

Photo: Barcelona musicians by Ben Brown.

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About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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Barcelona it’s reinventing all the time and from 2 years ago the city try to be involved in all kind of music event .

Music it’s in all streets, in all bars and restaurants….day and night.

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