The Xambanga giants’ parade and the concert by the carillon in the Palau de la Generalitat are the most notable popular culture attractions on the eve of La Mercè. Another outstanding event, new this year, will be the city giant’s parade being held on the eve of the festival.
Here is a summary of the day’s popular culture highlights, in chronological order:
- City giants parade on the eve of La Mercè City Hall, at 6 pm. This year’s festivities include a brand new parade, the Cercavila de Vigília, organised on the eve of the festival to announce the imminent arrival of the big day. The giants Jaume and Violant will be joined by the Capgrossos Macers (mace-bearing bighead figures) as they dance their way to the Mercè Basilica. Later it will be time to dance all the way back to the City Hall, where they will then eagerly await the next day. Route: Plaça de Sant Jaume, C/ Ciutat, C/ Regomir, C/ Ample, Plaça de la Mercè (6.30 pm), C/ Ample, C/ Avinyó, C/ Ferran and Plaça de Sant Jaume (7.30 pm).
- Xambanga de Gegants. From Plaça dels Àngels to the courtyard at the City Hall, at 9 pm. From their provisional home at Drassanes, the giants and their keepers will head towards Plaça de Sant Jaume, where they will spend the night to make sure they make their appointment the next day. But it will be a really fun bash along the way as the figures mingle with the popular percussion and music of xaranga bands, as they have done in recent years, also regaining popular outfits this time around. Want to join in? Come and follow them on their route through the city centre streets. Route: C/ Àngels, C/ Bonsuccés, La Rambla, C/ Ferran and Plaça de Sant Jaume.
- Carillon Concert: Amb 49 campanes, una peça per a cadascú. Palau de la Generalitat , at 9 pm. The really special sound of the Generalitat Carillon is a vital ingredient of Barcelona’s annual festival. This year, the Palau’s carillonist, Anna Maria Reverté, will use the sound of the bells to remind us of the music of Star Wars, Bach, Sau and Queen. Access to the Palau de la Generalitat to listen to the concert requires prior registration (before Friday 20 September) at presidencia.gencat.cat/carillo, or by calling 012.
It’s also possible to follow the concert from the streets of the Gòtic neighbourhood.