Barcelona Fiestas – Dates for Your Calendar
If there’s one place to go for a fiesta, it’s got to be Barcelona. Each year is packed full of them, meaning that there’s always something to celebrate, whenever you choose to visit. Offering everything from food and dancing to music and performances, Barcelona Festivals have something to match everyone’s interests. There are plenty of things to love about this characterful city, and its abundance of culture is surely near the top of the list!
January: Dia dels Reis (Epiphany or Kings’ Day)
On 6th January each year, Barcelona’s streets are filled with festive floats and plenty of fun. The holiday celebrates the Three Kings, and is the equivalent of Christmas Day when it comes to gifts and festivities. The night before, children leave their shoes out for the kings to leave gifts in and, on the day itself, everyone eats roscon de los reyes, a crown-shaped cake decorated with glazed fruit. Inside the cake is a small toy and whoever finds it is believed to get good luck for the year ahead!
Easter/March or April: Semana Santa (Holy Week)
Easter is really something to behold in Barcelona and Holy Week encompasses a whole host of Easter celebrations. On Palm Sunday (known in Barcelona as Domingo de Ramos in Spanish or Diumenge de Rams in Catalan), the cathedral receives lines of people to have their branches blessed, and there is a procession called La Borriquita (the Little Donkey). On Good Friday (Viernes Santo or Divendres Sant), processions are led from the Església de Sant Agustí, with this perhaps being the most active of Easter days.
May: Primavera Sound Music Festival
Each year, Barcelona hosts the indie music festival Primavera Sound, which sees big acts performing in front of a live audience. Whilst this is the main part of the festival, smaller associated concerts are held in various locations across the city; some of them are even free and include locations such as the Passeig Lluís and Parc de la Ciutadella.
June: Sónar Electronic Music Festival
Electronic and techno music take over in June, as the Sónar Electronic Music Festival takes the stage at Plaça Espanya and L’Hospitalet. Big acts, including the likes of Massive Attack, bring in the crowds and the spirit of the city is high. If you’re a big music lover and planning a trip to Barcelona, the spring/summer period is surely the one for you!
August: Festa Major de Gràcia
Barcelona is known for its street parties, and the Festa Major de Gràcia is the biggest and best of them all. It’s noisy, it’s fun, and it lasts for over a week – if that’s not a party, we don’t know what is! Gràcia’s streets are festively decorated, and lined with food and drink stands and live bands for everyone to enjoy. Anyone can join the traditional Catalan dance Sardana, which is simple and fun, or admire the human towers made by Castellers. There’s plenty to see and do, listen to and eat, making this fiesta not one to miss!
September: Festes de la Mercè
The largest party of the city, the Festes de la Mercè certainly sees off the summer in style. It includes dancing, races, and swimming, there’s plenty to do, and with free concerts, human tower Castellers, acrobatics, and parades, there’s plenty to watch too. Get as involved as you like, but don’t miss out on the wonderful festivities and food on offer at this spectacular summer celebration.
November: Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona
International jazz musicians take over the city for the whole month of November and it’s a real class act. Big names, such as Herbie Hancock, play at various venues across Barcelona, including the likes of Harlem Jazz Club, L’Auditori, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu. Ciutat Vella also presents various jazz acts throughout its bars, in a more low-key venture.
December: Fira de Santa Lucia Christmas Market
The Fira de Santa Lucia is a large Christmas market held out in the open around the streets surrounding Barcelona Cathedral. Both locals and visitors come to visit, with offerings of everything from Christmas decorations, food, and artwork. If you’re visiting the city around Christmas time, this is the perfect opportunity for authentic souvenirs to take home with you.