Santa Eulàlia: Barcelona’s Winter Festival

Next Friday, February 12th, we honor Saint Eulàlia who, along with Mercè, is one of the two patron saints of Barcelona. This means that from Thursday to Sunday, Barcelona is celebrating its Winter City Festival. As any other popular festival, folklore and tradition will be present and visitors will have a new opportunity to enjoy the rituals and ceremonies of our popular culture. Giants and giantesses, devils, dragons, eagles, lions, human towers, folk dancers and many more will be part of a festive tradition that has been documented since the 14th century.


Here’s a little guide of the Highlights of the Festival:

Giantesses Parade at the Gothic Quarter – Friday 12th – 18.30h.
One of the most ancient events of the celebrations. The Giantesses of Barcelona dance and walk along the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter to Plaça Sant Jaume. There, in front of the Town Hall, they dance once more to honor the authorities.

Ball de Bastons – Saturday 13th – 10h.
This is a traditional event in Catalan popular festivities: Ball de Bastons or Sticks Dance. Dancers jumps and dance at the same time they hit their sticks with their partner’s.

ball bastons

Tabalada or Drums Parade – Saturday 13th – 17h.
Starting at Plaça del Rei, dozens of drum players will walk and play along the streets. Another noisy and spectacular tradition.

Correfocs or Fireruns – Saturday 13th – 18.30h.
Again the drums will encompass the running of the Devils among people. Firecrackers and fire spitting dragons will mingle with the public. Light, fire and adrenaline. Bring your old clothes and a hat to protect your body from the sparks.



Giants and Giantesses main Parade – Sunday 14th – 11h.
This is the main event of the Festival. In this Parade, all the giants and dwarves of Barcelona and troupes from other towns will dance from Plaça Reial to Plaça Sant Jaume accompanied by the music of the gralles, the typical Catalan flutes.

Castellers or Human Towers – Sunday 14th – 13h.
A new opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking performance of Human Towers. It will take place in Plaça Sant Jaume.

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That was tradition, but Santa Eulàlia celebrations also include technological performances in the Festival Llum BCN (Light BCN). In different venues of the city center, installations will take place to illuminate the nights and the buildings of the Old Town when the sun goes down. Mappings, lightings, architectural designs combine art and cutting edge technology to amaze the visitors. The installations have been created by students and teachers from graphic design, interior design, lighting and architecture schools in Barcelona.


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