The “La Mercè” festival of Barcelona is celebrated every year around 24th September, and is the largest party in the city! The festival is marked by lots of celebration all around the city, and many museums open their doors to visitors for free during this period. So join the party this year, and let your imagination run wild with the devils, giants, fireworks and the best musicians, dancers and stage performers from Catalonia and around the world!
The dates for 2012 have been released and the festivities will begin on Friday, 21st September and last until Monday, 24th September. Each year, a guest city is invited to participate in the celebrations, and this year’s guest city is Montreal, Canada.
Events and Activities
The organizers are promising over 500 activities and events this year, and it is quite impossible to see everything, but here are a few of the highlights -
- Correfocs (the “Fire Run”)
- Castellers (the “Human Towers”)
- Gigantes (the parade of the “Giants”)
- Barcelona Acció Musical (Barcelona Musical Action – a festival of music)
- Fireworks Displays in Barceloneta Beach
Make sure you get a free guide and map from any visitor’s information centre in Barcelona, and pick the events and activities that are most interesting to you. Alternatively, you could just walk around the city, and take part in impromptu celebrations or catch some street artists in action. One venue that is guaranteed to have something or the other going on is Ciutadella Park.
La Merced is the biggest Fiesta in town, so make sure you plan ahead, otherwise tickets and hotel rooms may be overpriced or unavailable. All the events are free and everyone can join in!
For transportation, it is of course cheap and easy to rent a car in Barcelona, but expect the streets to be very crowded during the festival and some of the roads will be closed for parades, street performers, etc. The city’s metro system is cheap and efficient and provides a good alternative to a rental.
NB: Keep an eye on the official website of the festival for exact details and updates : http://www.bcn.cat/merce.