The Festa Major de Gràcia, one of Barcelona’s most popular, friendliest and wackiest festivals of the year, kicks off on 15 August and runs until 21 August.
This year the festival enters its 202nd year – with as many as 2m people expected to celebrate in 24 streets and squares of the Gràcia neighbourhood in Barcelona.
Just a 20-minute walk from the Plaça de Catalunya, locals and visitors alike may roam the finely adorned streets for free. Streets and squares are brimming with handmade decorations as residents compete for first-place in this celebrated street-decoration competition.
Previous years have seen King Kong scaling the side of the Empire State Building, an (almost) life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex, Russian Revolution Leader Vladimir Lenin, and many more. Themes change every year, and this year promises Harry Potter, the mythological world of Atlantis and much more – whatever you are imagining now, it will probably be there.
However, it is not just the decorations that attract the crowds to Gràcia. Nearly 1000 activities are also on offer over the course of the week – with human towers, traditional Catalan dancing, music and food tasting.
Finally, if stunning original decorations and festive activities aren’t your thing, there are always the free open-air concerts. Make sure you pop into festival squares such as the Plaça del Sol and the Plaça del Diamant in the evenings for folk and pop concerts, individual gigs and above all, Catalonia’s ‘rumba catalana’ music.
The festival this year is increasing its regard for disabled people. For the first time, there will be a prize for the most accessible street, and activities specially designed to allow disabled people to participate.
The festival will have 97 washrooms, 23 of which have special mobility access. Finally, for its third consecutive year, there will be an anti-sexism information stand as the festival continues to combat violence against women. This year, the slogan ‘No means no’ has been replaced by ‘Only yes means yes’.
Visit the festival’s official website for more information, where you can find the full list of street themes, activities and more.