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Barcelona, Spain City Info
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In January the main celebration is the arrival of the Three Kings from the Orient on the 5th accompanied by a parade, and on the 6th when both children and adults receive toys and gifts.

Santa Eulalia January 12. the feast of the patron saint of Barcelona is celebrated in the old town. There is dancing and many people dress up as giants.

The Carnivals, held in February, are becoming more and more popular ( after having been forbidden during the years of the Franco dictatorship), and St. Valentines Day (February 14th) is also increasing in its popularity.

1st Sunday in Lent is the date of the Internacional de Cotxes d' Epocha, a veteran car rally that runs from Barcelona to Sitges.

On March 3rd the popular festival of Sant Medir is held in Grácia. There is a parade and singing by choirs. Holy Week begins with the palm fair which is held on Palm Sunday. It continues with the accompanying religious festivities and ends on Easter Monday ( the celebration of which is pagan in origin).

Throughout March there is the Terrassa Jazz Festival when musicians gather in Barcelona from all over the world. Free outdoor concerts are given on weekends.

The most spectacular festival is held on April 23rd. This is the celebration in honor of Sant Jordi (St. George), the patron saint of Catalonia. It coincides with the rose and book festivals.

In May a flower show is held, and on the 11th there is the festival of Sant Ponç held in El Hospital street by the city's herbalists.

A book Fair is held in the Passeig de Gracia in June and during the same month there is a Trade Exhibition in Montjuic. The Corpus Christi celebrations with processions of giants and cabezudos, and the l´Ou com Balla (the dancing egg) take place in the fountain at the Cathedral cloister.

The most popular celebration during the month of June is the Eve of Sant Joan (St. John). This is celebrated both in private homes and in public places, and there is dancing bonfires in some streets and squares and fireworks.

The Eve of Sant Pere (St. Peter), on June 28th, brings with it festivities associated with the arrival of the summer solstice.

From the end of June onwards, the Festival of el Grec begins. This consists of a series of theatrical performances as well as dancing, concerts, and other cultural events. These take place either at the Greek Theatre in Montjuic, in the open air, as well as in other locations in the city. There are also many sports tournaments and competitions and several trade fairs at the Exhibition Center.

July 24th marks the Feast of Sant Jaume (St. James) and is celebrated in much the same way as the Eves of St. Joan and Sant Pere.

The Feast of the Assumption (August 15th), is another popular festival which is held in the district of Gracia.

The last great summer celebration is that of the Onze de Setembre (September 11th). This is a national holiday in Catalonia when various official and political ceremonies are held.
However, there are many more celebrations throughout the year in the city and in its different districts. Every district has a Saint's Day which it celebrates with a festival.

The popular festival of La Mercé, the patron saint of Barcelona, take place around September 24th when there are folk dances such as the sardanas, parades through the streets, important sporting events (e.g. sailing, regattas, judo, swimming, walking races), religious celebrations, etc. Other events held in conjunction with the festival are fashion shows, food tasting and wine sampling.

In October a Second-Hand Book Fair is held in the Passeig de Gracia and there is also a Music Festival, the Autumn Fair in El Tinell and several other fairs at the Trade Exhibition Center.

In November All Hallows Day is celebrated on the 1st and All Souls Day on the 2nd. This is the time when special cakes, known locally as panellets are baked and eaten.

At the time of Santa Llucias Days (December 13th) the crib fair begins in the vicinity of the Cathedral, and continues until Christmas. The opera season opens at El Liceu and the the concert season at the Palace of Music (Palau de la Musica).

Christmas is traditionally celebrated at home with the family and with the newly revived custom of fer cagar el tio (this consists of putting an object similar to a tree trunk into the fire from which presents then burst out). Christmas dinner includes escudella turkey, and torrons (a kind of nougat dessert).

The start of the New Year is celebrated in bars, restaurants, and in the street where people wear the fancy dress usually seen at street carnivals. As the clock strikes twelve they eat twelve grapes in time with each chime, a custom which is said to bring good luck if done properly!


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