Barcelona is easily one of the most cultural and international cities in Europe. It is famed worldwide for its Gaudi architecture, its sandy beaches and its striking landscape lined with mountains. People from all over the world come here every year for both work and play and one thing they and the local “Barcelonese” population all have in common: their love of a good party. We have collated a list of five of the biggest and the best festivals in Barcelona and the region has to offer.
Girona Flower Festival
We’re going to start first with a festival just outside Barcelona in the surrounding region of Catalonia. Girona is well known in the area for its historical Jewish quarter and its famous bridge designed by the great Gustav Eiffel (Yes! That Eiffel.). However, once a year in May the locals and the city come together to put on a spectacular festival celebrating the humble flower. Landmark locations in the city are adorned with colourful fresh flowers in exquisite arrangements. There´s also a whole host of music and events planned to make this festive period extra fun. Just be sure to book in advance if you decide to go. Girona is a relatively compact city and gets very busy during the festival.
This memorial to the city´s official Patron Saint is one of biggest festivals in Barcelona. It takes place in September just after the hot summer months of July and August. The festival itself runs over a few days but the biggest day of festivity is on the 24th September, which is also a public holiday in the city. The streets are absolutely overrun with local Catalan traditional activities such as spectacular human towers called Castellers, which can reach heights of over ten meters high! There are also correfocs (literally fire runs), where children and adults alike dress up as devils and run through the streets with bright fireworks strung on pitchforks burning brightly just above their heads. It is not an activity for the faint hearted for sure. The highlight of the festival is probably the luminous musical fireworks display that serves as a climax to the festivities right next to Plaça Espanya.
If you’re English you’ll probably already know that St George´s Day is on the 23rd of April however, did you know that the people of Barcelona also celebrate this religious festival too? Saint George, or in his local pseudonym Sant Jordi, is venerated by the city of Barcelona every year with a sophisticated festival very similar to Valentine´s Day. Locals set up small stalls selling roses on the street, which they then sell to the population to give as presents. The tradition is that men buy the women in their life a rose and women buy the men in their life a book (it is also world book day on the 23rd). So if you’re visiting Barcelona in April don’t be surprised to see stands full of roses adorned with yellow and red striped Catalan flags. Perhaps you know someone in Barcelona who´d like to receive some flowers or roses for next year´s event.
Festes de Gracia
Did you know that every neighbourhood in Barcelona has its own special festival each year? For up to two weeks the area is filled with music, food and charming decorations. The biggest one of them all, however, takes place in the affluent Vila de Gracia neighbourhood. In Mid August the narrow streets of Gracia are colourfully lined with beautiful and imaginative decorations. You can also find a whole range of musical events taking place in the many squares throughout this fashionable corner of the city.
St John the Baptist´s Day
This is surely Barcelona´s craziest celebration of the year. Held to celebrate the summer solstice, every night of the 23rd of June turns the city into a giant party. You can head to the beaches of Barceloneta and Poblenou near the centre to dance until the sun comes up or simply find a terrace in the city centre to watch the thousands of fireworks bursting colourfully above the iconic skyline. Be warned: it is a super noisy night with fireworks exploding from early evening until the first light of the morning and definitely not a good night to take your dog for a walk in the city. If you want to get involved yourself you’ll find many firework stores open in the run up to the festival itself.
Do you know someone going to any of these festivals this year or someone in Barcelona who would appreciate some flowers to celebrate one of these special days? Find out more about how you can send flowers to Barcelona.