The Barcelona city festival La Merce is celebrated each year, being September 24 a local festivity. The hundreds of planned activities start today, September 21.
La Merce is the patron saint of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, after having combated a grasshoppers (locust) plague in the 17th century.
Between the late 19th and early 20th century, the festival became very popular with many cultural celebrations.
Today´s opening ceremony (7.45 pm) at Plaza Sant Jaime (plaça de Sant Jaume in Catalan), headquarter of the city hall and Catalan government, will show the well known giant figures (gegants) dancing to the traditional Catalan instruments, such as the tabal, tarota and the flabiol, made of wood.
Monday morning, September 24th at 11 am, the giants will dance again on the same place and throughout the gothic quarter.
The world famous human towers (castellers), originally coming from southern Catalonia, will take your breath away, and should not be missed, on 2 days at Plaza Sant Jaime: Sunday at noon with the Castellers de Vilafranca and the Minyons de Terrassa. Monday, 12.30 pm will be reserved for the Castellers de Barcelona and colles de Vila de Gracia, Sants, Sagrada Familia, Poble Sec and colla jove de Barcelona.
One of the highlights during La Merce festivities to enjoy and also to be somewhat careful, is the Correfoc (fire run), starting at 8.30 pm on Sunday at Via Laietana street. During the event you can see along many streets dragons, beasts and devils fire spitting, what can be somewhat a bit dangerous if you get too close, not wearing a cotton shirt with long sleeves, long trowsers, a hat and a neckerchief, apart from comfortable footwear. Also bear in mind that there will be thousands of people on the streets.
The façade of Gaudi´s Sagrada Familia (the holy church) will be the scenery of a new spectacle in seven acts. This show will be only from Friday to Sunday night, starting the first one at 9 pm and offered by a Canadian company, specialised in multimedia events.
Another façade light and tecnological show can be seen every night at the town hall (Plaça Sant Jaume), which includes images from well known places and monuments in Barcelona. The first show starts at 9.15 pm.
These are only a few of the events to take place during the La Merce city festivities in Barcelona, Catalona, Spain, between September 21 and 24, 2012.