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Barcelona’s Giants, Stars at the Traditional Cavalcade of La Mercè

[ 24.09.17 ]

The giants of Barcelona and all guests from other parts who wish to join in the show will be the stars of the Cavalcade of La Mercè this year. The Cavalcade is among the most traditional events in the city’s festa major, and regularly features in the programme of activities.

As is customary, the procession will start out once more this year on the Feast of La Mercè (Sunday, September 24). The route begins in Carrer de Pelai (6 pm) and through Plaça de Catalunya before entering La Rambla and taking Carrer de Ferran into Plaça de Sant Jaume. Although on other occasions different groups (from street art companies to popular culture ensembles and even participants in the International Folklore Festival) have taken pride of place in this event, this year the giants will be restored to their leading role in the cavalcade.

Because it was precisely this eminent position in the Cavalcade of La Mercè that the giants occupied that was one of the factors that sparked the revival of passion for the world of giants all over Catalonia after the restoration of democracy.

In Barcelona, the cavalcade has been organised since 1986 by the Coordinadora de Geganters de Barcelona, an association established in 1983. This coordinating body organises a two-hour procession that is one of the most joyful events in these celebrations. Everyone is invited to take part!

The day before the cavalcade (on Saturday, September 23, starting at 11 am), MercèDansa will take place once more, in Avinguda de la Catedral. This event, now a tradition, began in 1993, when the Catalan dance company coordinating body Esbart Català de Dansaires presented a demonstration of “living dances”, that is, dances still performed in villages and towns all over Catalonia. It would be impossible to perform them all, but each edition of La Mercè features a selection of these dances to demonstrate the wealth and diversity of Catalan folklore.

The MercèDansa dance festival begins in the morning, but the closing ceremony will take place in the evening, at 7 pm in Plaça Sant Jaume. The festival ends in the most intense manner, when spectators and dancers perform a piece composed to bring the celebrations to an end, El Galop de La Mercè. The organisers will teach you the steps, to, so that you can also dance to the music performed by Cobla Sabadell.