Catalonia is steeped in history and culture with many events and festivals taking place through the year. The festivals of Catalonia are a shower of colour and music. Many of these events can trace their origins back thousands of years. In the summer these festivals are a great way for visitors to meet locals and to discover the real culture of the region.
FESTIVALS OF CATALONIA
The Castellers (Human Towers)
The Castellers are the most famous of Catalan traditions. The Castellers arealso known as the Human Towers. During the season, clubs (or colles in Spanish)compete to create the most elaborate Human Towers. These Castellers can be seen at most cultural events in Catalonia.
Every two years, different teams in Spain compete in the ultimate human tower competition. This competition is called the Concurs de Castells. It takes place in the Tarraco Arena Plaça in Tarragona.
After gaining worldwide recognition for their indescribable human structure displays, the Castellers were designated by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
The Colles also hold open rehearsals in local towns where visitors can watch and even get involved in trying to build these elaborate human designs.
Falles del Pirineu
Within the rural villages of Catalonia, festivals are closely linked to agriculture. Locals have also been incorporating fire into their celebrations for centuries as these are symbols of the sun and purification.
In the summer months, some villages in Lleida in the Pyrenees celebrate the Festival of the Falles. During this festival, locals cleanse the fields and forests with fire to preserve the lands. They also do this to protect their livelihoods from evil spirits. The festivals have been recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritages of Mankind.
The festivities takes place around the eve of Sant Joan. To start the merrymaking, the village’s youngest members light fires on the mountainsides.
Festes Majors are some of the most important traditional celebrations in Catalonia. The biggest festivals are held throughout the summer months to honour the local patron saint. During this time, locals practice authentic Catalan traditions. These include the Correfocs, an age old tradition where locals dress up as devils and play with fireworks. Some of the most exciting Festes Majors are the Festes de Gràcia in Barcelona, Santa Tecla in Tarragona or Les Santes in Mataró.
Catalonia is a Mediterranean destination in the Iberian Peninsula. It has its own culture and language. Its rich gastronomic culture and 68 Michelin-starred restaurants make it a prime destination for wine and culinary tourism. Catalonia is divided into four regions: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona.