Barcelona events are colorful and lively, and they offer travelers a unique insight into the area’s distinctive culture. The city hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, including Sonar, a three-day music festival held in the month of June; Sant Jordi; Festes de Gracia, and the ever-popular Festes de la Merce. Numerous film festivals encompassing a variety of genres are also held throughout the year, and with the city’s pleasant Mediterranean climate, enjoying outdoor festivals can be the perfect way to spend your vacation in Barcelona.
The biggest of all Barcelona events and festivals is the Festes de La Merce. The city's most important annual festival encompasses a variety of events, including live concerts, fireworks shows, colorful parades, and acrobatic displays. The vibrant and colorful processions involving lively dances are fun to watch, and you’ll also get the chance to enjoy a few glasses of Cava, a special sparkling wine native to the Catalonia region, with residents and other travelers alike.
Festes de La Merce is held on September 24 every year to celebrate the day of the Virgin de la Merce, Barcelona's patron saint. Main events begin two days earlier and continue up to that day, which is one of the city’s public holidays. When watching the events taking place in the city, you must look out for the castellers competition, where groups of people in colorful traditional costumes compete with each other to make the highest tower of people. The most popular place to watch this event is Placa de Sant Jaume. Here, the participants wear traditional costumes and form towers up to eight people high. If you’re interested in this event, you can get all relevant festival information and a comprehensive list of current program events at the Placa de Catalunya.
Along with this annual event, there are several other colorful festivals in Barcelona, most notably the Festes de Gracia. Held around mid-August every year, the festival observes the Assumption and is one of Barcelona's most important festivals. Filled with color, excitement and bubbly atmosphere, the festival begins with the explosion of fireworks. The festival is held in the Catalan neighborhood of Gracia, which is located one kilometer north from the center of Barcelona. The event is famous for its live music, food, and all night parties held throughout the week and beginning in mid-August. There are also elaborate street decorations on the doorways and plazas, and these are a particularly unique sight.
A wide variety of film festivals in Barcelona are held throughout the year. If you want to enjoy the best in Barcelona film festival, then visit during the months of September, October, and November, when the Mecal Short Film festival shows some of the best short films in beachside locales. If you’re interested in documentaries, then the Festival Internacional Documental de Barcelona is a great attraction. Barcelona also hosts the International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in the city.
Besides numerous film festivals in Barcelona, there a number of special Barcelona events based on different Christian festivals, reflecting the city’s strong Catholic history. The Corpus Christi and the Dancing Egg event is celebrated with great pomp and circumstance in the month of June. The festival is celebrated throughout Barcelona with processions and street parties, as well as the dancing ball tradition. Dating from the sixteenth century, this involves keeping a hollow egg on the city's popular water fountains. A hollowed out egg is put to "dance" on the spout of a water fountain and if the egg does not break, it signifies good luck and prosperity for the entire year. The water fountain is nicely decorated with flowers for this special event. The Corpus Christi and the Dancing Egg is one of the best events in Barcelona, and if you’re visiting in June, be sure not to miss it.