Festival of Gracia, the fantastic art decoration of the streets
One of the most important festival of the summer and also the most popular of Barcelona, the streets of this district will be full of people during 1 week of party nonstop but its popularity is characterized by the fabulous decoration of its streets.
Each important streets of Gracia will have an attention very particular, it will be changed from a simple one to the most beautiful, lighted and decorated street. In fact, for each area, there is a neighbor association that will be in charge to decorate the street with recycled products in a most spectacular possible way, after all, the best ones will receive a reward and they will be classified from the most to the less impressive.
Gracia was a village which was integrated to Barcelona once the city wall has been destroyed. Through the time, it integrated its festivals to the ones of the city while keeping its traditions which make it a popular area that local people like to come for fun because full of bars and restaurants.
In each corner, there will have a live concert, classic music, outdoor movie, a popular food… On each square, there will have the most important activities of this traditional festival and I can tell you that there are a lot of squares, very close each other, so if you don’t like one, by walking a little, you will find another kind of atmosphere.
The best is to visit it during the day because there are few people, especially during the week, so it is easier to move and to discover the different interesting areas. Enjoy a meal or an ice cream without to make the line during more than 1 hour, it is something to take in account. Even, taking pictures of the decoration, it is the best time to do.
But it is during the night that the festival shows its soul, the decoration will be lighted giving a different ambiance than during the day. There will be so much people that on some streets, it will be hard to move.
Restaurants will be full of course so each bench or everything, that can be used as a seat, will be more than welcomed, particularly when you want to eat on the street.
Most of the decorated streets will have a scene where a local bands will play music or a DJ will be there to make everyone dances on the street. The rule “don’t make noise because people are sleeping” doesn’t exit during this week and, as you can imagine, it will be not easy for people who live in this area to go to work the next day since parties will last all night.
But if you want to know the full essence of this local festival, you will have to wake up early for the first day and to be around 8h at the vila de gràcia square. Its opening is done with the parade of drums and flutes playing the traditional music and until about 13h, you will see some traditional events like the dance of the giants, trabucaires (blunderbuss men), bastoners (stick dance) and much more. At 18h, go back to the same square to see for instance the parade of the demons throwing fireworks called correfoc.
For the last day, try to be at the square around 12h to see the castellers (human castle) and around 18h30 until 22h30, to see and to walk with the correfoc for the closing of the festival. In fact, the one at 18h30 is for kids and the ones from 20h, it is for adults.
So if you are in Barcelona in august from the 15 to 21, don’t miss it and if you want to know the full program and where the main streets will have a fabulous decoration, check its official website (no english).