The Festivities around the 15th of August

The 15th of August festivities

What are the festivities around the 15th of August in Catalonia? During the week before and the week after the 15th of August there are many festivals (Festes Majors) taking place in Catalonia. Streets and squares of many villages and towns are decorated and an array of traditional events take place including concerts, dancing, markets and fairs.

Festa Major de Gracia
A decorated street during the Festa Major de Gracia in Barcelona

Why do so many festivities take place around the 15th of August? One of the reasons is because this is the period in the calendar when the mowing fields ended. Centuries ago the vast majority of the population worked in the fields so this was a huge time to celebrate. Also the Christian tradition set the 15th of August as the date to celebrate the Assumption of Mary. This commemorates the mystery of the elevation of Mary’s soul, the Mother of God, to heaven.

Festa Major de Gràcia

One of the biggest and better known festivals is the “Festa Major de Gràcia”. Gracia is one of the neighborhoods of Barcelona and which used to be a separate neighboring village near to Barcelona. No less than17 streets and squares are decorated by residents who transform their street into elaborately themed carnival style decorations.

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