The 10 most outstanding popular culture events in the El Congrés festa major.

The El Congrés neighbourhood is holding its festa major [big annual festival] from 7 to 15 October. A week of festivities featuring all kinds of activities for all kinds of audiences. There will be sports, children’s activities, communal meals, dances and concerts for all tastes. Popular culture will also be playing a major role in the programme, especially the activities organised by the neighbourhood’s popular culture groups, or “colles”.

Here are ten events you don’t want to miss:

Choral singing concert The Oronell choral society, together with the Badalona Art and Culture Choir and the El Musical de Bellaterra music school choir perform a concert of habaneras and sardanas. Friday, 6 October, at 9 pm.

Forge ties with the festival. This year’s festa major theme is community life and so there will be a communal artistic performance called “Teixint els fils dels nous començaments” [Weaving the threads of a new beginning], where a gigantic net full of colour will be woven. Saturday 7 October, at 10.30 am.

Fire runs.  The El Congrés neighbourhood’s fire-devil group, La Congregació Diabòlica, is organising an evening of fire, which begins with a children’s correfoc [fire run], at 7.30 pm, followed by a recital of doggerel verses (8:30 pm) and finishing with the main fire run (8:45 pm), including all the guest fire-devil groups. Saturday 7 October, at 7:30 pm.

Morning wake-up call. First thing in the morning, the members of the Congregació Diabòlica fire-devil group will wake up the whole neighbourhood with a morning parade, accompanied by fire and the beating of drums. Sunday 8 October, at 9 am.

Giants procession. The neighbourhood’s schools will bring out their giants, giant-heads and a variety of festival beasts for a procession that starts and finishes in Plaça del Congrés. Sunday 8 October, starting at 10: am.

Human-tower performance Plaça del Congrés will be the stage for a “casteller” or human-tower performance, starring the Castellers de la Sagrada Família, the Castellers de Sant Adrià and the Colla Castellera Jove de Barcelona. Sunday 8 October, at 12:45 pm.

Catalan dancing. An afternoon of traditional dancing with the Esbart Joventut Nostra dance school, together with the guest groups Esbart Català de Dansaires, Esbart Sant Jordi and the Danses Georgianes Iberioni group. Sunday 8 October, at 6 pm.

Concert by the Barcelona Municipal Band. The parish church of Sant Pius Xè, the geographical centre of the neighbourhood, is the venue for this traditional concert by the city’s municipal band, who will offer a repertoire based on Catalan compositions. Wednesday 11 October, at 9 pm.

Sardana workshop. Would you like to know how to dance sardanas? Don’t miss this workshop in Plaça del Congrés, run by the Colla Sardanista l’Espiga. Sunday 15 October, at 12 noon.

Habaneras and fireworks Every year, the festival closes with a concert of habaneras with the Mar Endins group, followed by “rom cremat” [hot toddy]. There will then be a fireworks display from Pirotècnia Catalana. Sunday 15 October, starting at 7:30 pm.


The 2017 El Congrés festa major programme