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Festivals of Barcelona

It is always a good thing to know what is going on in the city where we will go during our holiday. Not always but sometimes to plan my vacation, I like to know when there is an important traditional festival because it is a good manner to melt with local people and to know better its culture.

Spain has a lot of festivals so it is not very difficult to stumble to one of them even if you didn’t plan it but some are more important than the others. For example, Christmas festival is less important than the Epiphany one, although both commemorate the birth of Jesus but during Christmas time, nothing is scheduled, the city is quite quiet and children don’t open their gift, they have to wait the Epiphany time and only at this moment, the

city lives the celebration with parades, parties... Knowing that, are you willing to come to Spain in december 24 ??? Or you prefer to come in january 5 to live the christmas spanish celebration !!!

I’m not going to list all festivals at Barcelona because there are a lot so I’m just going to tell you the most popular ones for each month. With that, I’m quite sure that you will live an extra experience during your stay in this city.

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January

  • Epiphany. Also known as the 3 kings day or the wise men day, is the spanish christmas and it is celebrated on january 5/6 instead of december 24/25. Parade, parties, events… are organized and the kings arrive by boat the day 5 where they will be welcomed by children and later, people can see them at the parade.

February

  • De cajon, flamenco festival. Like you can guess, the celebration is only about flamenco (dance, music…) and it is celebrated until april - offical website.
  • Guitar festival. If you like hearing guitar, you should not miss this one which is celebrated until june - offical website.
  • La Laia. A festival, dedicated for children and celebrated the 2nd friday to sunday, to commemorate the fight of a 13 years old girl called Eulàlia for the christians during the roman period in the 4th century - offical website (no english).
  • Carnival. Less impressive than the carnival of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, it is a good alternative if you want to have fun which occurs normally on the middle of the 2nd week until the weekend.
  • Festival Barcelona VisualSound. A festival of videos and sounds where amateurs show their own creation about animation, documentary, original soundtrack, web design, movie... and it starts the 2nd tuesday until the next friday - offical website.
  • Hong Kong Cinema Week. A festival about Hong Kong movies like suggested by the name and it starts the last friday until the first sunday of march - offical website.

March

  • Marathon. Like running, don’t skip this event which is celebrated the first sunday of the month - offical website.
  • Sant Medir festival. It is to commemorate the legend of a farmer dating from 1830 and nowadays, it is a festival celebrated on day 3rd in the following districts: Gràcia, Sarrià and La Bordeta where parades and dances are organized.

April

  • BAFF, asian cine festival. A good way to know and to watch asian movies which start the last day of the month until the 2nd weekend of may - offical website.
  • Sant Jordi. This is the catalan saint valentine celebrated on 23rd, this day is when a man offers a flower to a woman, in exchange she has to give him a book.
  • April fair. You may hear about the april fair of Seville, this edition of Barcelona is its representation in Catalonia where the south spirit will vibrate the city from the last weekend of the month until the first weekend of may.
  • Mecal pro festival. It is the international short film festival organized from the 2nd friday to the 3rd sunday of the month - offical website.

May

  • Museum night. During one night, museums are opened and free entrance starting at 19h until 1h AM the day 15 - offical website (no english).
  • Museum international day. It is celebrated on the day 18 and museums organize special events - offical catalonia website (only catalan).
  • Palaujazz festival. This is a jazz festival so if you like this kind of music, try to be there the first 2 weeks - offical website.
  • Loop/Screen festival. It is a video art fair where you can watch videos done by different lover and professional artists starting the 2nd wednesday until the 3rd saturday - offical website.
  • Certamen, international dance festival. This event is to promote the art of dancing where young dancers will compete between them to get financial support for their careers from the 2nd friday to sunday - offical website.
  • Flamenco Ciutat Vella festival. Dedicated to flamenco, it is celebrated each year the 3rd week starting from wednesday to saturday at the CCCB - offical website.
  • Barcelona poetry festival. This is for all lovers of poetry where during 1 week you will hear poetries in different places from the 2nd thursday until the 3rd wednesday - offical website (no english).
  • Formula one spanish grand prix. A car race event occurring the 1st friday to sunday which is the date of the final race - offical website.
  • Primavera sound festival. A festival full of concerts which occurs the last week of the month - offical website.
  • Barcelona Creative Commons Film Festival. A festival under the creative common licence meaning that it is allowed to download, copy, remix, distribute and show totally free everywhere, from the 3rd wednesday to sunday - offical website (no english).
  • Barcelona International Women's Film Festival. A festival to promote international movies directed by woman film makers in order to show their importance in the development of the audiovisual creation, from last week to first week of june - offical website.

June

  • De tapes per Barcelona. An event to promote tapas so during the first week, you will go to different bars trying tapas specially created for this occasion for a cheap price including a drink - offical website.
  • Corpus Christi. This catholic event is celebrated 60 days after the easter sunday where people can see one of the most important processions for Jesus Christ.
  • Sonar festival. It is an international festival of advanced music and multimedia art which is celebrated the 3rd weekend starting by friday with plenty of concerts - offical website.
  • SonarKids festival. This one is dedicated for kids and it starts at the same time as its senior version but in a place totally different - offical website.
  • St John’s day (in spanish, verbena de Sant Joan). This event, also known as fire night, is to celebrate the summer and it takes place during the night of 23rd until the morning of 24th in which the tradition is to jump above the bonfire.
  • Grec festival. It is a festival of dance, theatre, music and circus for anyone celebrating in different places until end of july - offical website.
  • Pride Barcelona festival. An important festival which reunite the LGBT community from the 3rd weekend to the last one - offical website.
  • Bike show, bike/roller/skate festival. Fans of skateboards, roller skate and bikes, this event only lasts 2 days normally the 2nd weekend of the month with many competitions, activities and entertainments - offical website (no english).
  • Bike & Skate event. Organized at the same time as the bike show but this event lasts one week and there are different activities organized including to rent free a bike - offical website (no english).

July

  • Montjuic de nit festival. A night at Montjuic where people can listen music and watch musical documentaries from 20h to 2h AM the first saturday of the month - offical website (no english).
  • Movistar Barcelona extreme festival. Another important event for skaters and rollers which is celebrated the first weekend of the month - offical website.
  • Poble-sec festival. This is the local festival of the district called “festa major del Poble-sec”, a good way to melt with local people starting the 3rd weekend until the next one - offical website (no english).
  • Jueu Barcelona festival. A cinema festival about the jewish culture in Barcelona organized during the 10 first days of the month - offical website.
  • Summer concerts festival of Poble Espanyol. During almost all the month, concerts are organized in the Poble Espanyol village in Montjuic district - offical website.
  • Mecal air festival. A movie festival in the outdoor at Montjuic district until september - offical website.

August

  • Gracia festival. This is the traditional festival of the district called “festa major de Gràcia”, a good way to melt with local people starting the day 15 to 20 where some streets are decorated - offical website (no english).
  • Sants festival. Another local festival of the district called “festa major de Sants”, a good way to melt with local people starting the day 19 to 30 where some streets are also decorated - offical website (no english).
  • Gandules festival. Another movie festival in outdoor during the whole month but instead of Montjuic, it is organized at the CCCB museum (Contemporary Culture Center of Barcelona) - offical website.
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  • Mas i Mas festival. A music festival of all styles like classical, jazz, gospel, DJ… in different places during all the month - offical website.

September

  • Merce festival. The most important festival of the city is called “festa major de la Mercè”, traditionally and culturally, because La Mercè is the patron saint of Barcelona. Something to not miss during this month if it is your first time in the city which is celebrated from the 3rd weekend to the next one but the most important date is the 24 - offical website.
  • Catalonia national day. The exact date is the 11 and it is to honor national heroes who fought for the city in 1714 against the bourbon armies.
  • Hipnotik festival. A festival of break dance contest, graffiti competition, DJ… which is organized the 3rd saturday of the month - offical website (no english).
  • Asia festival. A festival about the asia culture in Barcelona (movie, theatre, concert…) organized from the 3rd thursday to the next Saturday in different places - offical website.

October

  • Airshow festival. This festival is about planes and helicopters doing some aerobatics and it occurs the afternoon of the first weekend - offical website.
  • Hostafrancs festival. This traditional festival called “festa major d'Hostafrancs”, a good way to melt with local people occurring the first week of the month.

November

  • International jazz festival. This event is for lovers who like listening jazz music organized in different places during the whole month - offical website.
  • Primavera club festival. A music festival to discover new bands starting on the 4th wednesday until sunday of the month - offical website.
  • Alternativa festival. It is the independent film festival in which the goal is to reward new talents and it is organized on the 2nd friday to the next Saturday - offical website.
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December

  • Gospel festival. All about the gospel world, a unique date to listen gospel music during the whole month - offical website.
  • Santa Llúcia fair. This fair is the christmas market where people can buy a fir, traditional spanish and catalan decorations… starting on the day 13 until 23 - offical website.
  • Christmas. This event is less popular than the epiphany and in fact, there are nothing organized for the 24/25; for spanish people, it is a family celebration and the christmas party is done on january 5/6.

Take note that the festival dates are informative because they can change according to the year and to the organizers except the ones of the local festivals of the city like the “festa major” events, sant jordi… so I will recommend you to check the exact date and any complementary information on their official website (if it exists) because things can change !!!

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