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Barcelona’s Festive Imagery Leads the Popular Procession

[ 22.09.17 ]

 Barcelona possesses a wealth of festive imagery, but do you know which of the figures that take part in parades during La Mercè have the longest history? To find out, come to the Popular Procession of Barcelona, or Seguici Popular, at one or other of the times and places mentioned here.

But, first of all, who forms part of this Popular Procession? Well, the unique, historic figures that belong to the city, led by the Àliga (Eagle) and the Gegants de la Ciutat (Giants of the City). These are accompanied by the figures with the longest documented tradition, such as the Gegants del Pi, the Gegants de Santa Maria del Mar and Lleó (Lion), Mulassa (Mule), Bou (Bull), the dragons Víbria and Drac de Ciutat Vella, the Cavallets Cotoners knights and the beast Tarasca, also known as Cuca Fera.

If you want to admire this bestiary more calmly, they are on show at the Palau de la Virreina (La Rambla, 99), on September 16 to 25, from 10 am to 8 pm. However, if you prefer to see them in motion, remember that they will come to life on the first day of celebration: on Friday, September 22, Àliga, Lleó, Mulassa, Bou, Víbria, Drac, Tarasca, the Gegants de la Ciutat, the Gegants del Pi and the Gegants de Santa Maria del Mar will come forth from the Palau de la Virreina on La Rambla at 7 pm and parade to Plaça de Sant Jaume, accompanied by stick dancers and musicians, the Bastoners and the Ministrils del Camí Ral. In the square, they will wait for the opening speech to end and one of the most solemn events at La Mercè to begin. This is the Toc d’Inici, when the Ministrils del Camí Ral play the music of each of the figures, who then perform their dance. Watch closely, because the Seguici stick dance will make its debut this year!

On Sunday, September 24, Feast of La Mercè, the Seguici takes to the streets once more, this time starting out from the square in which the Basilica of La Mercè stands. Here the city’s castellers (human pyramid groups) will form their pillars of honour. The Seguici de la Mercè parade will then begin, featuring the Barcelona Municipal Band and the popular figures, as well as the castellers, who bring up the rear of the procession as it makes its way to Plaça de Sant Jaume. Having reached the square, Àliga and the Gegants de la Ciutat, as the most representative figures in Barcelona’s festive iconography, will perform their respective dances.