Coming Sunday, August 30, at 12:30 the Castellers de Vilafranca (in green shirts), the Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls (soft red), the Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls (red) and the Minyons de Terrassa (purple) will enter the plaça de la Vila of Vilafranca del Penedès in pillar formations. These are the top four human tower teams as of their 2009 results and they come here for the Diada de Sant Fèlix to enjoy themselves, but also to challenge each other.
Some people consider the vilafranquins pretentious when they claim that they have the "number one human tower square" of Catalonia (“la plaça més castellera”). Other people stress that building castells is a social activity, where you are not supposed to be competitive and, therefore, cannot say that a certain team (colla) is the best. I do not belong to either of these groups.
This year, the hosts have raised the bar by repeatedly communicating that they will make an attempt on a human tower of 10 levels and judging from how easily they assembled a “3 de 9” during their practice (assaig) yesterday, this is clearly within reach. Last year we did not see any constructions this high. Now, the outcome of the 2008 Human Tower Championship (Concurs de Castells) and the current ranking give at hand that “els Verds” are in the best shape to accomplish it. So, let us not be jealous but wish them all the best and, on Sunday, go to Vilafranca and scream ourselves hoarse when they make it!
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Practical information: This event attracts a huge amount of visitors so do not enter the town centre, but make do with parking in the outskirts. Alternatively come here with the train Renfe Rodalies C4 - it takes less than an hour from Barcelona Sants. If you bring a child in a push chair, avoid the middle of the square since you will be locked in by the other spectators as soon as the performance starts.
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Find the program of the Festa Major of Vilafranca del Penedès here. The full version is in Catalan, but there is a "Town Festivity - short guide" in English. By the way, take note that vilafranquins have registered both festamajor.cat and festamajor.info as theirs. Sitges was probably only minutes away, but obivously too late. And in Vilanova we are a bit sulky, because again and again we realize that our neighbours are smarter than we are.
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Technorati tags: Castellers, Catalonia, Festa Major, Human Towers, Penedès, Vilafranca