La Mercè: Barcelona Festival from September 20 to 24
The “Fiestas of La Mercè” are the perfect occasion to learn about Barcelona traditions and also are a compendium of popular culture throughout Catalonia. In them they appear the “Sardana” from Girona, the “Castells and the devils” of the Camp of Tarragona, the dances that still remain alive throughout the Catalan geography…
The great specialty of Barcelona is the parades, related to the colorful processions that were celebrated centuries ago with Corpus motive. It is the oldest street shows that still remain.
Thus, from September 20 to 24, Barcelona dresses up and offers residents and visitors a wide range of cultural, musical and festive activities in many different areas: from the street, to concerts in emblematic places of the city. Are you going to miss it?
The Virgin of Mercè: Patroness of Barcelona
Legend describes that the night of September 24, 1218, the Virgin appeared simultaneously to King Jaime I, to San Pedro Nolasco and to San Ramón de Penyafort. He asked the three of them to create an order of monks dedicated to saving Christians imprisoned by the Saracens. It was time of religious war.
Centuries later, in 1687, Barcelona suffered a plague of lobsters and the city completely invoked the Virgin of Mercè its end. Once the plague was over, the City Council appointed her patron of Barcelona. The Pope did not ratify the decision until two centuries later, in 1868.
The origins of the Fiesta Mayor
After Pope Pius IX declared the Virgin of the Mercè patroness of the city, Barcelona began celebrating its festivities in September. La Mercè became more important in 1902 when, under the impulse of Francesc Cambó, a Fiesta Mayor was held, creating the model of those that still take place throughout Catalonia.
Anyway, the history of La Mercè would suffer many ups and downs that extended after the civil war and the years of Franco.
The “Fiesta Mayor” today
With the arrival of democracy, La Mercè implied the character of a genuinely popular party thanks to the collaboration of entities throughout the city. Today, La Mercè is a party that festively occupies a large number of public spaces with a program focused on Mediterranean culture. In less than a week, Barcelona brings together a huge program that will force you to choose: street arts, parades, concerts, traditional dances…
The TOP 10 activities and concerts of La Mercè 2019
In this link you will find all the programming of this year https://www.barcelona.cat/lamerce/es We highlight here some recommendations per day, all are free:
Friday 20 September
- Concierto “DASA: canciones para (no) estar triste”, 21:00 h en el Moll de la Fusta
- Concierto ‘Cadena 100’ con “Eivibonny”, “Edurne”, “Carlos Baute” y “Miquel Abras”, Avinguda Reina Maria Cristina
Saturday 21 September
3. Espectáculo “Clown Me In La Playa” a cargo de la cia “Clown Me In”, 12.30 Castillo de Montjuic (también otros horarios, ver enlace)
4. Concierto “Orquestra i Cor del Gran Teatre del Liceu: Una nit americana”, 21:00h Parc Central de Nou Barris
Sunday 22 September
5. Concierto de havaneres i Cançó de Taverna amb “Els Pescadors de l’Escala“, 12:00 h, Plaza Reial
6. Concierto de La Mercè de l’OBC (Orquesta Sinfónica de Barcelona), 21:00 h, Parc Central de Nou Barris
Monday 23 September
7. Espectáculo audiovisual “Traditional Digital Objects Revisited” a cargo de Maya Chami, Parque de la Ciudadela (link to see timetable)
8. Taller de danza Dabkte, a cargo de Bassam Abou Diab, 18:00 Parque de la Ciudadela
Tuesday 24 September
9. Piromusical festival: end of party. At Avinguda Reina Maria Cristina, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the most exciting firework shows you have ever seen!
10. La Cursa Solidaria de La Mercè!
On September 29, the 41st Cursa de la Mercè (10km), the most supportive race, takes place. A sporting activity committed to the city and the world.
La Cursa de la Mercè is consolidated as the solidarity test par excellence, from 2009 until now it has made an unstoppable trajectory, supporting non-governmental entities recognized in the world, such as UNICEF, UNESCO and the Movement for Peace, among others.
Registration costs € 5 and has been allocated since 2012 to Barcelona associations that support the most vulnerable groups in the city or that promote social justice.
Sign up here
Relive last year’s career by watching this video
There is a 2km adapted race for people with special needs
Check here for more information
See you soon in Barcelona La Mercè Festival!
Thank you very much for reading, we look forward to sharing our Fiesta La Mercè with you soon!