Barcelona City Festivals

Citywide Barcelona Festivalsbarcelona festival

The following Barcelona Festivals are celebrated and organized for the city as a whole. From Mercé to Carnival celebrations, each festival has its own theme and duration, but they're joined by one common goal: "¡pasarlo bien!"(to have a great time!).

Cavalgada dels los Reis Mags (January 5th)

While the rest of the Christian world eagerly opens their presents on Christmas day, most Spanish children receive gifts on the the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany, January 6th). According to the New Testament, Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar came from the Orient to visit Jesus, Mary and Joseph shortly after Jesus' birth and bestow the family with gifts.

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To celebrate their 'arrival', the city of Barcelona organizes a huge parade and the Three Kings ride into town, throwing candy and presents from their floats to the children eagerly awaiting below. It's any Barcelona child's favorite festival of the year!

Festes de Carnaval
(late February- early March)

Another Barcelona festival full of colorful parades - this time in the neighborhood of Sants - Carnival celebrations incite residents to don costumes and masks, partying a la Mardi Gras. Barcelona's Carnival celebrations date back to the Middle Ages, and the city is dedicated to keeping up festive traditions year after year, with recreational activities and a plethora of parties.

If you're up for an excursion, hop on a "rodalies" train from Estació Sants to the beachside town of Sitges, whose Carnival celebrations are considered some of the best in Spain. In the last few decades, Sitges has become one of Europe's gay hotspots, and the flamboyant crowd puts on great drag shows, rowdy parades and more.

Sant Jordi and International Book Day (April 24th)

April 24th is the day of Sant Jordi (Saint George), the patron saint of Catalonia. This day coincides with the 1616 death of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote de la Mancha, as well as the date of Shakespeare's birthday. As a result, UNESCO has designated April 23rd World Book Day.

To celebrate both these events, it is customary for men and women to participate in this Barcelona festival by exchanging flowers and books, and the city’s main shopping avenues fill up with book fairs.

Sant Joan (June 24th)

The Barcelona festival of Saint John the Baptist welcomes the onset of summer with bonfires, fireworks, firecrackers, dancing, and general debauchery. It's also called "La Nit del Foc", literally "the night of fire," as the skies of Catalonia light up all throughout the region.

Festa de la Mercè (September 24th)

To say that Barcelona knows how to bring in autumn would be an understatement. This huge celebration for the patroness of Barcelona includes 4 days of free concerts by internationally renowned groups, along with impressive fireworks and other cultural events... over 500 activities in total!

Barcelona Street Arts: festival of music, dance and theater in the streets, with artists performing at an armslength from the audience.

Barcelona Musical Action: experimentation with the many possibilities of sound.

The Festival of Tradition: mind-blowing acrobatic human towers, fabulous giants roaming the streets during the nighttime parades, and other impressive sights.

The Festival of the Sky: more incredible acrobatics through the sky, with jets, trapezes and more.

The Festival of Fire: this famous parade is also known as the "Correfoc," which means "fire runner" in Catalan. Participants often dress as dragons and spurt fireworks and sparks off their bodies!

The Wine, Cava and Food Show: With free entrance and varied tasting prices, this is a great way to get to know the rich wines, cava (Spanish champagne) and foods available in Barcelona.

Piromusical: the grand finale of La Mercè, you can enjoy concerts by important Catalan and Spanish musicians with a backdrop of incredible fireworks.