Festa Major de Gràcia
It’s August and that means it’s time for one of Barcelona’s biggest, craziest, most colourful and most creative street parties. The “Festa Major de Gràcia” is on for a week so don’t miss out if you are in Barcelona!
The “Festa Major de Gràcia” is one of Barcelona’s many neighbourhood street parties. Gràcia is quite a chic, upperclass neighbourhood and with its neat streets, lovely little squares, nice bars and laid back atmosphere it’s also a popular one. But once a year, for one week during the month of August, Gràcia converts itself into a gigantic, open air, festival like, street party where you can walk around for hours and get surprised every time you turn a street corner.
Like every street party, Gràcia has a busy agenda full of activities during this party week. From the traditional human towers, to paella cooked in gigantic quantities in the street to live music on tons of different stages all around the neighbourhood. What sets Gràcia’s festival apart from the rest is their incredible creativeness. The locals of Gràcia decorate their streets and compete for the annual price of the best, most beautiful and most creatively decorated street of all. Throughout the neighbourhood you can find 18 streets that are decorated. And then we are not just talking about some bunting and flags! No… every street choses a theme and creates the most amazing things out of recycled materials, from plastic bottles to papier-mâché to pieces of fabric. Everything is used in this competition and it is taken very seriously.
Every year the people of Barcelona, including us, are extremely excited to see what Gràcia’s residents have created this time around. So despite a bit of rain we hop on the metro to get to Gràcia on the opening night of the festival. It’s clear that tonight everybody is headed in the same direction. When we get out of the metro we walk into the streets of Gràcia that are packed with people. And we are not disappointed. Before we know it we are walking around in the “Moulin Rouge” where the lights are decorated with lacy underwear and we suddenly spot the Eiffel tower between the French flags! When we have bought a beer from the pop up bar on the street we walk on and suddenly find ourselves in Japan. A gigantic Sumo wrestler looks down on us when we enter his street. We stop for a while to dance under the big Chinese dragon a bit further down and then continue walking through the four seasons and a “toxic waste” street while sipping on our drinks. By the end of the night we have found our favourite stage where Spanish music is being played and we dance till our feet won’t take it anymore.
Like every year, the street party of beautiful Gràcia is more than worth a visit. The combination of all the different music throughout the streets, the amazing decorations and the friendly vibe is incomparable. And although many foreigners visit the festival, it still feels like a true neighbourhood event. From very young to very old, everyone is involved and enjoys the festivities. There is no entrance fee and you can find food and drinks at very reasonable prices in the streets and squares. The Gràcia festival is on until the 21st of August. When you take the metro L3 to Fontana you are right in the middle of the action.
For more information you can visit the website http://www.festamajordegracia.cat