Catalan Festivals!


Catalonia (Catalunya) is a country within a country (it is an autonomous community of Spain).

It has it’s own language (Catalan) and culture, with traditions and festivals (festas) going back a thousand years.

Nothing so clearly tells you about a country’s identity than its festivals...

and Catalonia has a lot of festivals.

The Spanish or Catalans in this case love any excuse to have a party.

There are loads of saints days, Easter parades, Spring fairs and flower displays.

Love is celebrated, saints are celebrated, the sea is celebrated (pirates and fishermen). Fireworks and bangers regularly fill the air and your ears through out the summer.



Festival Catalonia Palafrugell Festival Catalonia Jafre Beer Festival Festival Catalonia Corpus Christy


In fact many festivals are associated with fire and often feature a correfoc (a parade of fire-spitting beasts that light fireworks, while dancing to the beat of drums).

Other particularly impressive festivals events are the human towers (castelleres) of up to 10 people high and the giants (gegants) with their massive papier-mache heads towering above the crowds.


Festival Catalonia Habanera Festival Catalonia Corpus Christy Festival Catalonia Giants (Gegants)


Even if there is nothing apparent to celebrate, local festivals take place in most towns and villages all through out the summer, which frequently include sardana dancing (Catalan folk dancing...all the oldies always get up for this one).

One of the most popular Catalan festivals and a massive tourist attraction are the Habaneras.


Festival Catalonia Mare de Deu el Carme Festival Catalonia Verges Dance of the Dead Festival Catalonia Verges Dance of the Dead


As well as traditional festivals, Catalonia also holds many music festivals of all types of music (classical, pop, rock, electronic, jazz, flamenco...). The music festivals are coloured in grey below.

If a festival overlaps two months we mention it in both months.


Festival Catalonia Gegants (Giants) Festival Catalonia Gerona En Temps De Flors Festival Catalonia Human Towers (castells)




Catalonia Festivals...

Costa Brava Festivals - JANUARY

When Where What
5 January - in the evening All towns and villages Parade of the 3 Kings - usually on horseback, pulling carts of presents. The kings arrive surrounded by bands of drummers and flute players and throw sweets to all the children in the crowd - kids absolutely love this festival as you can probably imagine!




Costa Brava Festivals - FEBRUARY

When Where What





Costa Brava Festivals - MARCH

When Where What





Costa Brava Festivals - APRIL

When Where What
Easter (maundy Thursday evening) Verges Reenactment in the streets of the Passion of Christ, followed by the Dance of the Dead (Dansa de la Mort) - people dressed as skeletons run through the candle lit streets - it’s great fun but get here early!
Easter Bellcaire Roman pageant
23 April Most villages, towns and cities The Feast of Sant Jordi (Catalonia’s patron saint) - on this day friends and lovers give each other gifts of books and roses, and so the streets are lined with book and flower stalls


Costa Brava Festivals - MAY

When Where What
12-20 May Girona Girona Flower Fair (Gerona En Temps De Flors) - displays of flowers line the streets and take over rooms of buildings often not open to the public. It’s a very beautiful sight


Costa Brava Festivals - JUNE

When Where What
1 June L’Estartit (Port) Medes Island Image and Environment (MIMA) Festival (underwater images)
1 - 3 June Barcelona Primavera Sound - an internationally acclaimed electronic music, pop and rock festival
(www.primaverasound.com)
10 June (all day) L’Estartit (Consell Municipal i carrers) Corpus Christy Floral Carpet Festival
14-16 June Barcelona Sonar - music and multimedia art festival
(www.sonar.es)
15-16 June (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Port) Catalan music festival
17 June (13.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa de L’Esglesia) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) festival
23 June (mid-summer night) Most villages, towns and cities The Feast of Sant Juan - to celebrate the summer solstice, bonfires are lit in the squares and streets of villages, towns and cities and fireworks and music can go on all night (word of warning - kids let bangers off for days in advance)
23 June (19-23.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa Llevantina) Music concert followed by fireworks on the beach
23 June - 11 September Sant Feliu de Guixols (Monastery Sant Feliu de Guixols) International Music Festival de la Porta Ferrada (the oldest music festival in Catalonia created in 1958) - music, theatre and dance
(www.portaferrada.guixols.cat/portaferrada/)
24 June (19.00 hours) L’Estartit (Pels Carrers) Human Tower

(teams of all ages build human towers (castells) - although this a particular tradition of the Camp de Tarragona and Penedes regions - it is now found in all other parts of Catalonia. The castells can be frighteningly high, especially because the person on the top is usually about 5 years old!)
24 June (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa Llevantina) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum (delicious)
28 June -10 July Girona Religious Music and Food of the World Festival - there are stalls serving food from all around the world and rows of tressel tables and chairs set up outside the cathedral - a fantastic setting for whiling away a warm evening eating delicious food
(www.ajuntament.gi/musiquesreligioses)
29 June Tossa de Mare, Sant Pere Pescador, Begur, Calella de Palafrugell Fesitval for Sant Pere - religious procession, Catalan folk dancing (sardanas), fire crackers and fireworks.


Costa Brava Festivals - JULY

When Where What
23 June - 11 September Sant Feliu de Guixols (Monastery Sant Feliu de Guixols) International Music Festival de la Porta Ferrada (the oldest music festival in Catalonia created in 1958) - music, theatre and dance
(www.portaferrada.guixols.cat/portaferrada/)
28 June -10 July Girona Religious Music and Food of the World Festival - there are stalls serving food from all around the world and rows of tressel tables and chairs set up outside the cathedral - a fantastic setting for whiling away a warm evening eating delicious food
(www.ajuntament.gi/musiquesreligioses)
July (every Wednesday 22.00 hours) L’Escala Catalan folk dancing (sardanas)
1 - 31 July Barcelona (Montjuic) Teatre Grec Festival d’Estiu de Barcelona

This open air festival is the most popular Barcelona music, dance and theatre festival
(www.grec.bcn.cat/en)
July - August Sant Feliu de Guixols Festival Internacional de la Porta Ferrada - festival of classical music, theatre, dance, jazz, pop and world music (www.portaferrada.com)
2 July (22.00 hours) Tossa de Mare (Socors Carrers) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) festival
3 July (10 - 19.00 hours) Banyoles (Paratge dels Desmais Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) festival
6 - 7 July Barcelona Festival Cruilla - a festival of different types of music
(www.cruillabarcelona.com)
7 July (22.30 hours) Begur (Placa de la Vila) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas)
7 July Jaffre Artisan Beer Festival (Festival de Cervesa Artisanal) - Jaffre is a lovely little town and its streets are lined with stalls selling beer from all over Catalonia...we really enjoyed sampling quite a few of them ;o) There are also stalls selling all sorts of things, from dried mushrooms to clothes
7 July (22.30 hours) Calella de Palafrugell (Port Bo Beach) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum (this is the most famous Habanera festival on the Costa Brava and is extremely popular. Get here early and be prepared for big crowds)
(www.havanerescalella.cat)
7 July (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa Llevantina) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
8 July (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa de L’Esglesia) Traditional popular dance festival
9 July (22.30 hours) Platja d’Aro (Cavell Bernat) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
10 July (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa de L’Esglesia) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas)
13 - 15 July (19.00 hours onwards) L’Estartit Beatles Weekend (a series of concerts of Beatles music)
14 July (22.30 hours) Begur (Placa de la Vila) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas)
14 July (18.30 hours) L’Estartit (Pels Carrers) Festival of giants - a parade of men and woman dressed at giants (I find this one a little scary actually - I guess it depends if you like giants)
15 July - 21 August (22.00 hours) Calella de Palafrugell (Botanical Gardens of Cap Roig) Festival Jardins de Cap Roig - a festival of various genres of music and performing arts, held in the lovely botanical gardens of Cap Roig, over looking the sea
Telephone (+34) 972 447 755 for tickets
16 July (11.00 - 22.00 hours) L’Estartit Festival of Mare de Deu del Carme (the patron saint of fishermen)

11.00 - Church service

12.00 - Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) - at Pl. Esglesia

18.30 - The statue of Carme is taken from the church and placed in a small boat where she is hoisted onto the shoulders of some sailors (well, they’re dressed as sailors) and is marched towards the harbour, with the priest and a band leading the parade. Upon reaching the harbour she is placed on an actual boat along with the priest and the band and taken on a tour round the Medes Islands, lots of locals follow in their own boats making quite a spectacle heading out to sea

21.00 - Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) - at Pl. Esglesia
16 July (10.30 hours) L’Escala (Riells Beach) Festival of Mare de Deu del Carme (the patron saint of fishermen)
21 July (22.00 hours) Sa Riera Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
20, 27 July and 3, 10, 17 August Begur Festival de Musica de Begur - classic music concert with some flamenco and jazz
(www.begur.org)
21 July - 23 August Perelada Festival Internacional Castell de Perelada - a festival of opera, zarzuela, ballet, chamber and symphonic music held in an open theatre and the Gothic church of Carme
(www.festivalperalada.com)
21 July - 23 August Torroella de Montgri Festival Internacional de Musica de Torroella de Montgri - classical music festival
(www.festivaldetorroella.com)
22 July (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa de L’Esglesia) Traditional dances
22,23,30 July Blanes Festival de Musica Classica El Convent - classical music festival held in Blanes convent
(www.el-convent.com)
24-27 July (22.30 hours) Blanes Costa Brava International Firework Competition - be prepared for a lot of noise!
26 July (11.30-22.30 hours) L’Estartit Festival of Santa Ana (Saint Anne)

11.30 - Street parade

12.00 - Church service

13.00 - Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) - at Pl. Esglesia

20.30 - Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) - at Pl. Esglesia

22.30 - Festival dancing - at the beach
27 July (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa Llevantina) Traditional Catalan songs
28 July (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa Llevantina) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
29 July (09.00 hours) L’Estartit (main beach) Swim from L’Estartit to Illes Medes - this is quite a feat, but loads of people do it. You are flanked by lifeguard boats along the route, incase you get into difficulty.
29 July - 14 August (22.30 hours) L’Escala International Music Festival Portalblau - a festival of various genres of music
www.portalblau.cat
30 July - 6 August (22.00 hours) Cadaques (Cala sa Conca) Festival Internacional de Musica de Cadaques - this is a classical music festival and is one of the oldest music festivals in Catalonia
(www.festivalcadaques.cat)


Costa Brava Festivals - AUGUST

When Where What
23 June - 11 September Sant Feliu de Guixols (Monastery Sant Feliu de Guixols) International Music Festival de la Porta Ferrada (the oldest music festival in Catalonia created in 1958) - music, theatre and dance
(www.portaferrada.guixols.cat/portaferrada/)
29 July - 14 August (22.30 hours) L’Escala International Music Festival Portalblau - a festival of various genres of music
www.portalblau.cat
20, 27 July and 3, 10, 17 August Begur Festival de Musica de Begur - classic music concert with some flamenco and jazz
(www.begur.org)
21 July - 23 August Perelada Festival Internacional Castell de Perelada - a festival of opera, zarzuela, ballet, chamber and symphonic music held in an open theatre and the Gothic church of Carme
(www.festivalperalada.com)
21 July - 23 August Torroella de Montgri Festival Internacional de Musica de Torroella de Montgri - classical music festival
(www.festivaldetorroella.com)
July - August Sant Feliu de Guixols Festival Internacional de la Porta Ferrada - festival of classical music, theatre, dance, jazz, pop and world music
(www.portaferrada.com)
15 July - 21 August (22.00 hours) Calella de Palafrugell (Botanical Gardens of Cap Roig) Festival Jardins de Cap Roig - a festival of various genres of music and performing arts, held in the lovely botanical gardens of Cap Roig, over looking the sea
Telephone (+34) 972 447 755 for tickets
August (every Wednesday 22.00 hours) L’Escala Catalan folk dancing (sardanas)
August Barcelona Palounge - music concerts are held every evening of the month of August
(www.palaumusica.cat)
2 August L’Escala (Platja de i la Riba) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of burnt rum
2 August (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa Llevantina) Traditional Catalan singing
4 August (22.30 hours) Begur (Placa de la Vila) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas)
4 August (19.00 hours) Torroella de Montgri (Mas Pinell) Habanera singing festival
5 August (all day) Sa Riera Festival of the Sea
6 - 15 August Roses Catalan folk dancing (sardanas), music festival
7 August (22.30 hours) Llafranc (Llafranc Beach) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
7 August (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa de L’Esglesia) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) festival
8 August (22.30 hours) Begur (Placa de la Vila) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas)
9 August (22.00 hours) Torroella de Montgri (Pati de Can Quintana) Flamenco music concert
10 August Castello d’Empuries Catalan folk dancing (sardanas), music festival
11 August (19.30 hours) Castello d’Empuries Festival of giants - a parade of men and woman dressed at giants
11 August Ullastret Catalan folk dancing (sardanas), music festival
11 August (22.30 hours) Begur (Pati de les Escoles Velles) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
14 August L’Escala (Platja de Montgo) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
15 August (19.00 hours) Roses Festival of giants - a parade of men and woman dressed at giants
15 August Platja d’Aro Catalan folk dancing (sardanas), music festival
15 August Banyoles Festival of Mare de Deu del Carme (the patron saint of fishermen)

Catalan folk dancing (sardanas), music festival, fishing contest, children’s activities
15 August La Bisbal d’Emporda, Tamariu Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) and music festival
16 August - 8 September Vilabertran Schubertiada a Vilabertran - classical music concert of Schubert’s music, held at the Monastery of Santa Maria
(www.schubertiadavilabertran.cat)
21 August (22.30 hours) Portbou (Platja Gran) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum, fireworks
22 August (22.00 hours) Sa Riera Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
23 August Llafranc Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) and music festival
25-28 August Torroella de Montgri Festival of Sant Genis (Saint Genesiu)

For a schedule of events please visit the Torroella de Montgri tourist information office
25 - 26 August (18.00 hours) L’Escala Festival of giants - a parade of men and woman dressed at giants
End of August During many village festivals Human towers and giants
30 July - 6 August (22.00 hours) Cadaques (Cala sa Conca) Festival Internacional de Musica de Cadaques - this is a classical music festival and is one of the oldest music festivals in Catalonia
(www.festivalcadaques.cat)


Costa Brava Festivals - SEPTEMBER

When Where What
23 June - 11 September Sant Feliu de Guixols (Monastery Sant Feliu de Guixols) International Music Festival de la Porta Ferrada (the oldest music festival in Catalonia created in 1958) - music, theatre and dance
(www.portaferrada.guixols.cat/portaferrada/)
16 August - 8 September Vilabertran Schubertiada a Vilabertran - classical music concert of Schubert’s music, held at the Monastery of Santa Maria
(www.schubertiadavilabertran.cat)
1 September (22.30 hours) Begur (Placa de la Vila) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas)
1 September (22.30 hours) Tamariu (Tamariu Beach) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
7 - 9 September (22.30 hours) Begur (Tot el Poble) Indianos Colonial Fair (Begur - Cuba)

A festival that celebrates Begur’s relationship with Cuba.
In the 1800’s many people left Begur to seek their fortune in Cuba. Those that returned with their new found wealth built grand colonial mansions and became known as the indianos.

www.firaindians.com
8 September Olot El Tura Festival - the main theme of this festival is the giants (gegants) a parade of men and woman dressed at giants, dancing, concerts, children’s activities and fireworks
8 September (and the following week) Cadaques Summer Festival - Catalan folk dancing (sardanas), concerts, children’s activities and fireworks
8 September (22.00 hours) L’Estartit (Placa Llevantina) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
10 - 11 September Castello d’Empuries (old centre) Land of the Troubadours Festival - music, dancing and theatre
11 September Most villages, towns and cities The Catalan National Holiday - commemorating the date on which the siege of Barcelona by the Spanish ended (when Catalonia lost its national freedoms)
15 September (22.30 hours) Begur (Placa de la Vila) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas)
15 - 16 September (all day) Girona (various locations) Napoleonic Festival - parades commemorating the historic events that took place in Girona during the Peninsular War in the Napoleonic Period.
Festivities include - recreation of battle scenes in full costume, artisans markets, demonstrations of traditional crafts and children's activities
16 September (all day) Torroella de Montgri (John Lennon Gardens) Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) and cobla bands festival
21 -23 September (all day) L’Estartit Festival of pirates (Pirates i Corsaris a les illes Medes)

The harbour of Estartit is taken over by stalls selling food, jewellery, clothes, arts and crafts, local children’s theatre groups putting on dance displays.

You can even take a boat to the Medes Islands and disembark (only time of the year this is allowed) - for the schedule of boat trips to the Medes Islands please visit the l’Estartit tourist information office
weekend nearest to 24 September Besalu Sant Primuns and Felician Festival - Catalan folk dancing (sardanas), concerts, children’s activities, fishing, clay-pidgeon shooting, regatta on river in home-made boats at 12 noon on the Sunday


Costa Brava Festivals - OCTOBER

When Where What
2 - 3 October (11 - 14 hours) L’Escala Anchovy Festival - tasting anchovies and history of this fishing tradition of L’Escala
12 October Flaca Catalan folk dancing (sardanas) and music festival
14 October (18.00 hours) Palamos Festival of giants - a parade of men and woman dressed at giants
20 - 21 October Sant Feliu de Llobregat Festival of Giants World Fair!

The biggest parade of (giants) gegants in Catalonia. It will be a big party
29 October (20.00 hours) Girona (Cathedral stairs) Habanera festival - the singing of sea shanties and the drinking of cremat/burnt rum
Through out October Palafrugell Jazz festival (lots of separate concerts in different locations in the town)
(www.jazzcostabrava.blogspot.com)


Costa Brava Festivals - NOVEMBER

When Where What





Costa Brava Festivals - DECEMBER

When Where What








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Sardanas and Habaneras Festivals Not rated yet
You say that the "oldies" get up for the sardanas. Sad if the youngsters are not ensuring this dance survives since it is such an integral part of Catalan …

Festival of Giants - Costa Brava 2012 Not rated yet
Hi we came to L'Escala 2 years ago for a holiday and were lucky enough to see the Festival of Giants and a music festival where live bands played in a ... …


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