If Barcelona is famous for the “festes majors” of its neighbourhoods, its festive spirit is on the rise for its biggest street festival: the Mercè festival. Every year, around September 24th, the residents of the city gather in the streets of the Catalan capital to pay tribute to their Patron Saint: the Virgin Mercè. This celebration, which dates back to 1902, has become an essential and traditional event for all the inhabitants of Barcelona.
This year, festivities are being launched on September 22nd by the famous “pregó”, speech of a personality of the cultural world, and are beautifully finishing on September 25th, after a wonderful week full of festivities. Don’t miss this unique event, which combines Catalan traditions and activities of all kinds.
The Mercè during the day
Photo of a "cap gros”, one of the traditional activities of the Mercè
More than 600 activities are organised throughout the city. There is something for everyone!
This year, Paris is the city invited for the celebration of the Mercè. The inhabitants of Barcelona and the tourists will discover the extraordinary talents of Parisian artists during the MAC Festival (Mercè Artes de Calle) thanks to numerous performances as for example theatre, circus and other forms of street art…
Another novelty for this edition: the Mercè festival takes new places in the city as the Trinitat park and the old Fabra i Coats and the Damm factories. New places in Barcelona to discover!
Barcelona city hall has also thought of the children for its big party. Theatre workshops, tales narration sessions and many other activities are forecast in the Ciutadella park.
Concerning the tradition, Catalan creatures will go out with their friends the ”gegants” (giants). Let’s also meet during the day at Sant Jaume Square, where there will be performances of “castellers”, these incredible human towers!
Walking on the street, you will certainly see a small group dancing the traditional Catalan “sardana”. Let yourself be caught by Barcelona festive nature!
During the day, you can also enjoy the sweet climate of the city, sitting at a terrace. Discover our top 5 of them.
The Mercè by night
Young people at a street concert during the Mercè celebration
At nightfall, don’t miss the proposed light shows. Be amazed by the 3D projections on the facades of historical buildings of the city. We recommend you to see the one displayed on the city hall, at Sant Jaume Square.
Another important event is the BAM festival (Barcelona Accio Musical), the biggest festival in the open-air in Barcelona. At different public places in Barcelona, you will discover new French artists performing free entrance concerts. Come and thrill listening to them!
What would the Mercè be without its closing ceremony? The “Piromusical“, a breathtaking fireworks and musical display will take place on September 24th at night. Let’s meet at the bottom of the “Font Màgica de Montjuïc” (the magic fountain) to be really blown!
Good to know
During this week, Barcelona museums and the buildings of its estate organise open-doors days.
The underground will work all day and all night long, so that you can party as long as you want.
To come back, make the most of the comfort of the Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation trains to have a rest after these intensive party days.