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Enthusiasm, energy and creativity

Barcelona, the day of the Mercè

Every year,around the 24th of September, Barcelona celebrates its most important fest, the day of the Mercè, this year starting on the 22nd of September untill the 25th.Words can hardly describe the brimming enthusiasm,the energy and the creativity that animates the city for one week.

Even if has born, and still preserves a very strong popular feature, the festival has become a gathering of every kind of artist and show professionals from all over the world, perfoming in public places completly for free for 5 days from 11 am untill 4 in the morning. Here there are just some numbers: 200 companies, more than 600 performances, 2.000.000 people on the street.

The program includes traditional shows, and dance, music, circus and fanfare performances and travelling shows all day long, with special attention to street theatre. Apart from this, other striking fireworks and light shows combined to new technologies light on the night.

This festival began more than 200 years ago in honour of the Mare de Deu de la Merce, the patron saint of Barcelona, and was officially celebrated the first time uin 1902 to welcome the cooler months of autumn.

Some of the most traditional activities include the "Correfoc", for example, where special groups dressed up like devils start to run through the streets throwing bangers and fireworks together with fire breathing dragons (or at least sparkler-breathing dragons). Make sure you have are a fitting dress for the quite wild situation!

The Giants parade ("Gigantes") is a "quieter" activity" where huge figures of kings, queens and nobles march trhough the street. But the hightlight event of the festival is probably the "Castellers", the human towers in Placa de Jaume, that can arrive to 15m of height with a child climbing to the very top of it. Thousands of people gather in the place to see it, so be there in advance.

The music offer has a programation for itself; it is divided into "popular concerts", for any kind of public, and BAM (Barcelo Accio Musical), a festival of indipendent music that gathers the most eminent artists of the catalan panorama and includes international singers and bands of first importance, for a total of more than 70 concerts on 10 different stages. And everything always for free.

A program apart is left to a guest city, that is invited every year to present in Barcelona its best offer cultural and artistical offer. Dakar, Quito o Istambul have already added their touch of exotism to the festival; we are waiting to know who uis going to be the elected city this year.The variety of the perfomances reflects the spirit of the city, a big cosmopolite city that is moving forward, able to update its traditions and innovating itself.

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