Mercè Festival 2012

La Mercè is the most important festival in Barcelona since 1871, when the council drew up a program of special events to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mercy (Mare de Deu de la Merce Vendrell in Catalan), which takes place on September 24.

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It is said that on August 1 1218, Pedro Nolasco, holy founder of the feast, had a visit to the Blessed Virgin, which prompted him to found a religious order to redeem the Christians lost. At that time, the Iberian Peninsula was dominated by Muslims, and the Saracen pirates ravaged the coasts of the Mediterranean, making thousands of prisoners. According to local legend, the festival dates back to when the Virgin of La Mercè saved the city from a terrible invasion of locusts in 1687, but the feast was celebrated officially in 1902.

Traditionally, the Mercè Festival lasts five days and there are hundreds of activities taking place, but there are several “big events” that made famous the festival:

Casa Tortilla Blog

Casa Tortilla Barcelona Blog

Gigantes and Cabezudos
Each year the stars of this festival are the giants and big heads, figures of several meters carried by a person. Generally the parade of giants place in couples with male and female protagonists. Represent archetypes popular historical figures at the local level, have a height of proportion, creating an effect of nobility, while the “Cabezudos” (also called Kilikis), have a lower height and a disproportionate ratio with the head, giving a more comic.

Casa Tortilla Barcelona Blog

Casa Tortilla Barcelona Blog

Correfoc
The event takes place in the Correfoc dusk. Usually along the Via Laietana and surroundings. Are special groups in the community who disguise themselves as devils and parade through the streets. Running through the streets with firecrackers and fireworks in hand, and in their shows there are fire and flames! Accompanying the Dragon blowing fire or throw sparks.

Casa Tortilla Barcelona Blog

Casa Tortilla Barcelona Blog

Castellers
A castell is a human tower several stories until a guy can get to the top of the tower and stand on it. A tradition for over two hundred years. On 16 November 2010, Els Castells were declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This event is one of the highlights of the festival Mercè and usually develops in the Plaza de Jaume.

News 2012
While traditional activities such as Castells and Correfocs do not vary much from year to year, each festival features a different guest and presents new and unique activities to enjoy.

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Marvel at the fireworks and musical entertainment reminiscent of the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 in Montjuïc. But beware, the show is crowded every year, most of the stokers mingles with the crowd and shoot at close range.
This year there will be a giant karaoke in the Parc de la Ciutadella. Work out, then, with your favorite song to sing all over Barcelona.
Try not to miss the BAM (Barcelona Acciò Musical) concerts on 21, 22 and 23 September. Musical events confirmed this year include groups from the United States, Great Britain, Catalonia, France, Guatemala and offers genres ranging from hip-hop to folk.

Casa Tortilla Barcelona Blog

Casa Tortilla Barcelona Blog

Do not miss the opening speech of the scientist Lluis Torner on this year’s theme: creativity and innovation.
Whatever your tastes, La Mercè will not disappoint. Do not forget to take a ride to the Mercè Street Art Festival, learn traditional dances Catalan and enjoy a wonderful evening of music for free.

I leave you with the official video of the Feast of Mercè 2012.

Check the website of the Municipality and download the PDF to not miss anything!
Web – Festival de la Mercè 2012

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