The Festivities around the 15th of August

Festa Major de Gracia

A decorated street during the Festa Major de Gracia in Barcelona

The week before and after the 15th of August there are many festivals (Festes Majors) taking place in Catalonia. The streets and squares of many villages and towns are decorated, and an array of traditional events takes place: concerts, dancing, markets, fairs, parades…

The reason why so many festivities take place during these dates is because traditionally this is the period when the work of mowing the fields ended. Also the Christian tradition set the 15th of August as the date to celebrate the Assumption of Mary, that commemorates the mystery of the elevation of Mary’s soul , the Mother of God, to heaven.

One of the biggest and better known festivals is the “Festa Major de Gràcia” in one of the neighborhoods of Barcelona, where 17 streets and squares are decorated by residents who transform their street into elaborately themed carnival style decorations.