The Sant Medir Festival, the year’s sweetest festival, has become quite an event in the Sarrià, Sant Gervasi, Gràcia and La Bordeta districts. The celebration begins on the 17th of February this year with the Festa del Pregó, or Opening Ceremony. Following a series of activities for children and the parade of festive groups, or ‘colles’, which begins in the Plaça Trilla and continues to the plaça Vila de Gràcia, the party finishes up with inaugural speeches by artist Pilarin Bayés and writer Núria Parera.
On February 24th, the group ‘Monumental’ will celebrate the 29th edition of the walk to the Sant Medir shrine, a current version of the pilgrimage initiated in the 19th century, which will start at 8 am from number 8 of the Carrer Sant Antoni, the headquarters of the group.
The parades of ‘colles’, always well provisioned with sweets, will take place at the beginning of March. On the 1st, the parade will take place in Sarrià with a morning parade that will finish up in the Plaça Consell de la Vila.
The parades on the 2nd will be in the Gràcia and Sant Gervasi districts at 10 o’clock in the morning. All the ‘colles’ in Gràcia will finish up in the Plaça Vila de Gràcia, while those in the Sant Gervasi district will parade through the streets. At 8 o’clock in the evening all the groups will meet in the Carrer Sant Salvador for a parade led by the ‘colla’, or standard bearer, accompanied by the Orquesta Municipal de la Guardia Urbana Montada.
Finally, on the 10th, the parade will take place in La Bordeta, the district of the Sant Medir parish. The ‘colles’ will meet at 10.30 am in front of the parish church and will parade to the accompaniment of the Orquesta Municipal de la Guardia Urbana Montada along the following route: Constitució, Gavà, Alpens, Guadiana, Santos, Gayarre, Gavá, Constitució, Toledo, Manzanares, Andalucía, Riera de Tena, Constitució, Viladecans, Corral and Mossèn Amadeu Oller.
On the same day, also in La Bordeta, the ‘Diada’ Castellera de Sant Medir will take place with the participation of ‘Castellers’ (Human tower makers) of Vila de Grácia, Sants and Sant Cugat.
The origins of the Sant Medir Festival go back to the 4th century A.D. More specifically to the day Medir, who was planting beans, came upon Bishop Sever, who was hiding from the Romans. He asked Medir to tell the Romans the truth if they came and asked about him, to tell them that yes, he had seen the bishop in the area. When the Romans appeared, however, they didn’t believe Medir was telling the truth, so once the bishop had been captured, both were tortured to death, thereby attaining martyrdom.
Centuries later, in 1828, a baker from Gràcia, Josep Vidal i Granés, a devotee of Sant Medir, proposed a deal. If Sant Medir cured him of his illness, every year on the 3rd of March he would make a pilgrimage to the chapel of Sant Medir, in Collserola. Josep was cured, and the first pilgrimage was made in 1830. Since then the number of participants has been increasing and a number of separate groups celebrate the Sant Medir Festival every March.