Suggestions to enjoy the festivities of La Merce in Barcelona.

Suggestions to enjoy the festivities of La Merce in Barcelona.

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Summer comes to an end and the city of Barcelona prepares for its biggest and most traditional celebration, the festivities of La Mercè. Between the 19th and 24th of September, the city will be awaiting to celebrate the festivities in honour of the Virgen de la Mercè, patron saint of Barcelona. It is one of the events that attracts more people to Barcelona every year. And it is not a surprise. The city transforms itself into a large scenario, in which all kinds of shows take place, including the human towers, giants parades, Sardana, correfocs and, of course, the open air concerts.

Although during the previous days there will already be other activities, the festivities will be officially inaugurated on Friday 19th, with the announcement that this year will be read by Núria Gispert. It will take place at the City Hall, where you can also enjoy a taste of “sardanas”, the regional dance that is so typical of Catalonia.

From that precise moment, the celebrations can begin. If you visit Barcelona during the Mercè festivities, it will not be difficult to find some sort of show on the streets. The Giants & Big Heads parade take place along the main locations of the city, will be followed by percussion groups to liven up the party.

The traditional Correfoc will take place on Sunday 21st, where the demons will take over the streets. wrapped in gunpowder and fireworks. If you want to safely watch them, (if you go to correfoc you must wear suitable clothing for protection), the day before they will also be making a parade through the gothic quarters, without the fire show they will be exposed in the city’s town hall.

The “Sardanas” also play an important role during the Mercè festivities. The Avenue of the Cathedral, Sant Jaume Square and Plaça de la Mercè Square are the main points from where you can enjoy live this regional dancing by the best sardana dancers.

On the 24th, the day of the Mercè, the human towers or castellers, will invade Sant Jaume Square, and offer the public an exhibition of building human towers. If you have never witnessed this tradition, it will most certainly impress you. Silence fills the square while gradually, the castellers climb on each while the public holds its breath.

And, like every year, music is again one of the protagonists. Among the programming of the Mercè Music and that off the Barcelona Musical Action (BAM) there are nearly 90 concerts planned in 12 different stages, located in different parts of the city.

La Mercè Music will have four stages in Plaza Catalunya, Plaza Sant Jaume, Cathedral Avenue and Forum. At the Catalunya square musicians, such as the artist of Belgian and Congolese origin Baloji, the colombians La 33, the orchestra La Plateria or the local band Hotel Cochambre. On Sant Jaume Square, one will experience samples of traditional music in the hands of Pep Gimeno Botifatta and on the Cathedral Avenue, attendees will be able to enjoy jazz and flamenco.

This year the city has incorporated, within the Mercè Music festival and the BAM the stage Mediterráneamente on the beach of Bogatell, where you will find artists like Manel, Fuel Fandango, Troba Kung-Fu or Txarango.

On the other hand, within the BAM there will also be 21 groups from 9 different countries.  It is important to note this year, the presence of Stockholm as a guest city invited to the Mercè, which will have a very special role in the different activities, including the performance of different Swedish

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