Friday, 24 August 2012

Catalan town festivals and human towers in the wine region Penedès

The two biggest events in the wine region Penedès this weekend are the Town Festivals (Festa Major) of Sitges and Igualada (find more information by clicking on the name of each town). But there are a lot more things going on out here in Anoia (Igualada, Piera), Garraf (Sitges, Vilanova i la Geltrú), Baix Penedès (El Vendrell, Calafell etc.) and Alt Penedès (Vilafranca del Penedès, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia) during the days August 24-26. Click on the name of each comarca here below to reach its full events calendar in English.

Anoia has extremely much to offer this time, thanks to the Festa Major of Igualada; correfoc (“fire-run” with devils dancing under fire), traditional parades with performances (cercaviles), concerts with pop and rock in Catalan (eg. Els Catarres) and a very interesting day of human towers (castells), where local Moixiganguers d’Igualada will match their skills with two of the Top-6 teams in Catalonia; Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls and Capgrossos de Mataró.

Garraf will above all see the last parts of the Festa Major in Sitges – for example a huge procession with folk dance performances and a day with human towers where local Colla Jove de Castellers de Sitges will be joined by one of the best teams in Catalonia – Minyons de Terrassa – plus almost local Castellers de les Roquetes. In Vilanova i la Geltrú there is a guided tour in French and the last free concerts of this summer season.

Baix Penedès has a sailing regatta in Segur de Calafell (Calafell) and concerts related to the Pau Casals International Music Festival in Sant Salvador (El Vendrell). Having said that, this weekend you might want to visit the inlands of the comarca: there are human tower exhibitions in the small towns L’Arboç, Santa Oliva and Albinyana.

Alt Penedès, finally, is the place to go for wine tourists: in Vilafranca del Penedès there are guided tours among the vineyards either by motorized bikes (“burricletes”) or on foot. In the same town there are performances based on the Catalan folk dance ball de gitanes. In Sant Sadurní d’Anoia there is a guided tour focusing on the architectural heritage.

And there is more to come: Next week sees the beginning of Festa Major de Vilafranca del Penedès – the most complete and genuine Town Festival of Catalonia. As a part of it, on Thursday August 30, four of the five currently best human tower building teams in Catalonia Castellers de Vilafranca, Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls, Colla Jove de Xiquets de Tarragona and Minyons de Terrassa, - will challenge each other during the Diada de Sant Fèlix.

Welcome to Penedès - just 45 minutes from the centre of Barcelona!

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