Festa Major de Gràcia in Barcelona
An unmissable (and instagrammable) treat for all ages!
If you are visiting Barcelona between the 15th and 21st of August, you simply have to allocate some time to attend the Festa Major de Gracia in Barcelona.
It is considered to be the most festive and original district festival of the city. Stroll around the streets of the neighbourhood to understand what we’re talking about.
Gràcia is located a 20 minute walk away from the city centre when you head towards the hills to the north-west of the city.
About the Event
Gràcia used to be a separate village from the city of Barcelona and was not totally incorporated into the city until 1897. This explains why it looks like a small maze of narrow streets where the atmosphere and charm of the ancient village has survived.
Festa Major transforms the streets of Gràcia into very colourful and eccentric scenery. This characteristic makes it the most popular festivity of the year and the best part is that the residents are truly involved in its preparation. Various street parties take place and the aim of the festival is to bring people together, whether within the neighbourhood or from different countries around the world. It is a wonderful ancient tradition of more than two centuries that attracts more than one and a half million visitors each year.
IMPORTANT: However, it’s crucial to respect Gràcia’s residents and the decorations. The best way to thank them for their hospitality is to keep the streets as clean as possible, avoid touching the ornaments and not to make noise after 1 a.m.
Why Do You Have To Go?
The main reason to go is probably to experience the atmosphere and admire the decorations, which are all handmade by residents. They spend hours and hours transforming their streets into magical worlds. In previous editions, for instance, cardboard boxes and plastics bottles were assembled to become elements of vegetation. Every year, items are hung from balconies or scattered across the roads and pavements to become real cinema settings. The decorations are different every year as the theme of the event changes and every street competes with each other to be elected as the best-decorated street of the Gràcia festival.
The Festa Major de Gràcia always features an exhaustive and varied programme. There’ll be more than 500 activities for families and children during the day and night. Not only is it the perfect time to discover this neighbourhood by strolling the streets in wonderment, you will also be able to enjoy live music on stages spread around the district. On top of this, it is a great opportunity to witness some of Catalonia's most impressive traditions, such as Castellers and Correfocs. If you're unfamiliar with these terms, check out our article, Surprising Catalan Traditions, to learn all about them. They are truly unforgettable and you won't want to miss them.
This Year’s Special Events
On top of the decorated streets, festivities are held around the squares. At the folk square (Plaça del Sol) and the swing square (Plaça del Diamant) attendants will have the opportunity to enjoy live music. Plaça de Joanic will be dedicated to animals, inclusive festivities and dance. Plaça de Manuel Torrente is dedicated to gastronomy, whilst science will be honoured in Plaça de la Revolució and the Cercle Catòlic de Gràcia will be an area to disconnect.
Programme of Festa Major de Gràcia in Barcelona
You can find here a list of the main events that you could attend during the festivities:
14/08: Assaig a Plaça dels Castellers de la Vila de Gràcia: Castellers rehearsals. Starts at 8.00 p.m. in Plaça de la Vila.
15/08: Cercavila de Cultura Popular: It’s the main parade of the event that starts at 6.00 p.m. It includes gegants (giants), caps grossos (big heads), dragons, castellers, bastoners (stick dancers) and grallers (pipers).
16/08: Cercavila de Sant Roc: Similar parade as above with the addtion of trabucaires (bandits). Starts at 10.30 a.m. in Plaça de la Vila.
16/08: Baixada del Pilar Caminat: Castellers in a single column. Starts at 8.00 p.m. in Plaça de la Vila.
16/08: Diada castellera de Vigilies: Castellers. Starts at 8.15 p.m. in Plaça de la Vila.
17/08: Diada Castellera de Festa Major: Major castellers event of the Festa Major. Starts at 7.p.m. in Plaça de la Vila.
20/08: Cercavila Gegantons de Festa Major: Big heads event. At 10.00 a.m. in Plaça de la Vila.
21/08: Tabalada Infernal: Parade with drums 8.00 p.m. from Plaça de Trilla.
21/08: Correfoc. Starts at 10.45 p.m. from Plaça de la Vila.
Parade Routes and Main Spots
For more information, you can buy the programme with a map of Gràcia highlighting the decorated streets for 1€ or download the app on your mobile phone for Apple or Android devices.
Where to stay?
Our advice isn't only limited to the unmissable events in Barcelona. ChicRoom Barcelona can also offer you a stay in on of our exclusive, luxury holiday apartments located in the centre of Barcelona to make sure you are close to the main events and sites of the city.
Catalunya Palace on ChicRoom Barcelona