Today is the first day of la Festa de la Mercè – the festa major of Barcelona. During the coming weekend, there will be a lot of activities around the city, but the peak will be reached coming Wednesday, September 24, on la Diada de la Mercè. After that, the traditional part of the festival is over, but the program of special events continues until September 28. Big crowds in the streets are foreseen from Saturday to Sunday (Sep. 20-21) as well as for the Eve (Vigília) of la Mercè (Sep. 23-24), so the Metro of Barcelona will exceptionally operate non-stop during these nights.
While popular culture dominates the festa major of any small Catalan town, la Mercè has developed to a more general and diverse festival. In my eyes, the more traditional items of the program are lost in the noise and that is a pity, since to most foreigners Barcelona is the point of entry into Catalonia.
In this blog, I will offer support on how to find your way through the program of la Mercè and also a list of recommendations of what not to miss if you are interested in learning more about Catalan culture. My advice to tourists and expats alike is to take the time to study the festival program. Those who do not will certainly still have a great experience, but risk to miss the many things which are unique to Catalonia.
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Technorati tags: Barcelona, Catalonia, Expat, Festa