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It’s not that the Fiesta Major de Gracia is unknown – it’s average 1.5 million visitors certainly know about it – in fact this year’s Fiesta will be the 196th! It’s more that it’s a local Fiesta that is really worth making the effort to see and enjoy.
A Sense of Community
It takes place in August every year in the district of Gracia in Barcelona; as yet this year’s exact dates haven’t been announced although it’s usually from around the 15th. Nineteen or so streets and squares decide on a theme and decorate; they compete against one another for the accolade of ‘Best decorated street’. Residents of each street or square do the work together – it must take ages!
The invention and innovation is certainly worth a look. You might see anything from giant plastic bottles to lanterns made from recycled plastic bottles or Peter Pan and all his friends and enemies flying from roof to roof. Or it could just as easily be an under the sea scene … or a life-size LEGO installation.
Don’t miss out
Visitors say there is plenty of food and drink available around the streets as local restaurants set up outside bars for the occasion and you never know when you might bump into … a fire spewing dragon; there are performances in small squares and just a great feeling of festivity for a whole week.
Visitors also suggest you wear your dancing shoes as courtyards magically transform into stages and dance floors and the Flamenco music gets to everyone. Don’t just stick to the main squares though, venture into the narrow streets between Torrent de la Olla and Escorial so that you don’t miss anything.
Don’t be surprised about what you find – couples waltzing in one street, a jazz band in the next, a rock band in another and fire eaters around the corner. Each street has something different to offer.
We’d recommend looking at the art installations or decorations during the day to see the detail but going back to enjoy the real Fiesta at night. Watch out for extravagantly decorated balconies too.
Don’t miss the Fiesta Major de Gracia on your cheap holiday to Spain. It is open daily from 2.00p.m. to 3.30a.m. and it’s free to wander round and appreciate all the work and community spirit that has gone into this Fiesta.
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